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Former Falls man sentenced to 10 years for sexually abusing girl

LOCKPORT – A man who sexually abused a preteen girl for two years in Niagara Falls was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in state prison, followed by 20 years of post-release supervision.

Philips Aguilar, 36, was living on Whitney Avenue in the Falls during the crimes. After the girl reported them to her mother, Aguilar left the Falls, according to his attorney, Alan S. Hoffman.

Hoffman told Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas that Aguilar was walking the streets of Buffalo, contemplating suicide, until he was picked up and taken to Erie County Medical Center. Aguilar’s mother checked him out of the hospital and took him to her home in Uniondale, Long Island, Hoffman said.

That’s where authorities arrested him on a Niagara Falls arrest warrant in February.

Aguilar pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual act, which carries a 25-year maximum sentence. However, when the plea was entered July 9, Farkas agreed to limit the sentence to 15 years.

She trimmed it even further after hearing that the victim and her mother preferred some leniency.

“He needs to get out of jail and get help,” the girl wrote in a letter that she tried unsuccessfully to read in court. Breaking down in tears, the girl gave the letter to Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco to read aloud.

The letter said the girl decided to report the crimes last November after seeing a video on sexual abuse in a seventh-grade class.

The girl said Aguilar blindfolded her and forced her to perform oral sex.

Aguilar, a married father of four, was abused as a child, Hoffman said. The defendant asked for “the court’s mercy,” and Hoffman appealed for the minimum sentence, which would have been five years.

“He knows his life is over,” Hoffman said. “I don’t think he’s a threat to society.”

Farkas saluted the girl’s mother for supporting her daughter but said she had to take the severity of the crime into account.

Aguilar blamed the crimes on stress, but Farkas said, “Ninety-nine percent of men who are stressed out don’t sexually abuse (girls).”