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Molestation of brothers results in 5-year term Ex-assistant leader of scouts scolded

A former assistant Boy Scout leader in Amherst and Clarence was sentenced to five years in state prison Tuesday for molesting two Lockport brothers in incidents a year apart.

Prosecutor Robert A. Zucco called Michael P. Walleshauser, 51, of Lockport, "a pedophile," saying that was proved by the finding of names of pornographic files, although not the actual pictures, in his home computer.

Walleshauser declined to comment before he was sentenced by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

The boys' mother had plenty to say, however.

"I hope one day you can feel the same fear, torment and pain that you made my kids feel ," she told Walleshauser. "There's no more trust. I don't trust anyone, and my kids don't trust anyone. My kids will never look at an adult the same way. I look at everyone like they have that [criminal] intention now."

Walleshauser pleaded guilty in March to reduced charges of attempted first-degree criminal sexual act and attempted second-degree sexual abuse.

At that time, he admitted he had sexual contact on a night in July or August 2009 with a 9-year-old boy and fondled the boy's then-11-year-old brother while that boy was sleeping in Walleshauser's home on the night of July 12-13, 2010.

After his arrest last year, Walleshauser lost the post of assistant leader of a Scout troop at St. Mary Catholic Church in Swormville, which he had held for a little over a year. Before that, he was assistant leader for 19 years for Troop 279 at Dodge Road Elementary School, Amherst.

Zucco said in court that despite heavy publicity given to the case of a former scoutmaster accused of child molestation, not a single current or former Scout in Walleshauser's troops had come forward with further allegations. The victims in the criminal case were not Scouts at the time of the crimes.

The Regional Computer Forensic Lab found the pornographic file names in computer folders that also contained photos of activities at Scouting events, Zucco said. The prosecutor claimed that showed "a pervasive interest in sexual activities involving young boys."

He said the hard drive of Walleshauser's computer showed signs of having been "wiped with some fairly sophisticated software."

"This man is a pedophile, and he harbors a criminal interest in sexual activity with young boys," Zucco charged.

Defense attorney Gary Freedman did not address that charge. He referred to Walleshauser's history as a Scout leader.

"He is prepared to do what he has to do to reclaim his life," the attorney said.

The heaviest sentence Murphy could have imposed on the charges to which Walleshauser pleaded guilty was 15 years in prison. However, he accepted a recommendation from Zucco for a seven-year sentencing cap.

At the plea, Murphy said he probably wouldn't send Walleshauser to prison for more than five years. But on Tuesday, he added 15 years of post-release supervision.

That means that after Walleshauser is released, he runs the risk of being reimprisoned for up to 15 years if he violates any of the probationlike rules.

Freedman asked Murphy to let Walleshauser surrender next week because his 12-year-old son is having trouble with his final exams. Murphy said he didn't think the request was legal and said he would have refused it anyway.

Walleshauser, who had been free on bail, was immediately taken into custody.

Zucco said the seven-year sentencing cap was part of a preindictment plea offer that Walleshauser rejected. Probation also would have been a sentencing option for Murphy.

But by waiting to be indicted, Walleshauser had to plead guilty to a charge that carried a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years behind bars, with no hope of avoiding prison.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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