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Jury finds man guilty of rape

An Ontario Street man was found guilty Tuesday of raping a former work colleague last year.

Henry Santiago, 19, cried as the jury verdict on one count of predatory sexual assault was read to Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case. The judge sent him to jail pending his Sept. 29 sentencing.

Prosecutor Andra Ackerman said she will urge Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III to recommend the judge impose the maximum-allowable 25-years-to-life term.

Santiago, who faces a minimum term of 10 years to life, took the stand Monday and insisted his victim agreed to have sex with him.

Last week, the victim testified that she knew Santiago from a candy company where they both worked. She said she invited him to her house last September to play cards with her and friends.

The woman said that after the other players left, Santiago came onto her about 3 a.m. When she rebuffed his advances, he became aggressive and punched her in the jaw when she screamed.

After telling her he would kill her if she screamed again, Santiago raped her, the victim testified. She said she called 911 as soon as he left her house.

Ackerman presented the jury with medical evidence that the victim's jaw was wired shut for six weeks after the attack. A metal plate had to be permanently implanted in her jaw and she no longer has feeling on her lower jaw.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com