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Lockport man gets 15 years in prison for choking attack on 7-year-old girl

LOCKPORT – The little girl whose mother’s boyfriend choked her and tried to rip her tongue out had a question for him as he was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison:

“Why would you do that to me?” she wrote in a letter, which was read aloud in Niagara County Court on Monday because she was too traumatized by the attack to be in the courtroom in person.

“I remember having blood in my mouth,” wrote the girl, who was 7 at the time of the attack. “You made my Mom cry a lot.”

David L. Alfonso, 29, of Lockport, had originally been charged with attempted murder for the horrific attack on the girl but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree assault July 15.

Monday, he was sentenced to the maximum time behind bars allowable under the law for the violent attack on his girlfriend’s daughter.

Both the defense and prosecutor told Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas that Alfonso believed he was performing a type of exorcism of black magic to remove evil spirits from the girl, but the two disagreed on whether Alfonso – as he asserts –was under the influence of cocaine and bath salts.

Alfonso told Farkas he has “zero recollection of what happened” on the night of Dec. 31 in the Monroe Street home of his girlfriend.

“That makes you very frightening. It makes you exceptionally dangerous,” Farkas told Alfonso before she imposed the maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision. Alfonso would have faced up to 25 years in prison if he had not pleaded to the lesser charged.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said the family wanted to see him serve more than 15 years and face an attempted murder charge, but he was allowed to plead to a lesser charge in consideration of the evidence.

“He doesn’t deserve another break,” Donatello said prior to sentencing.

She outlined the violent attack noting how Alfonso “was out of control and violent” when he took the girl into a bedroom and started choking her and didn’t stop, even as she screamed and then stopped breathing.

“He put his hands around her neck and squeezed. The only reason he stopped was because (the girl’s) mother tried to cut his hand off. (Otherwise) he wouldn’t have stopped, and she would have died,” Donatello said.

The girl was able to run away to her grandmother’s house and get help. Police picked up Alfonso on Monroe and Lock streets. They found him covered in blood. Police said he had to be Tasered twice to be brought under control.

Farkas agreed with the violent nature of the attack. “You strangled a little girl,” the judge said. “You put your hands in her mouth, knocked out a tooth.”

The girl, who reportedly has been having bad dreams since the attack, wrote that she “didn’t have to go to counseling before this happened.”

“I want him to stay in jail forever,” the girl wrote to the court.

Alfonso’s attorney, David C. Douglas, said there is no defense for what Alfonso did but does not believe that his client would have done it without being under the influence of something.

“I am not certain what caused this episode,” Douglas said, adding, “It was totally irrational. He was literally out of his mind.”

“This black magic – he believed it was taking place on the day this happened,” Douglas told the court, saying his client does not have a violent nature. However, Donatello disputed that statement.

Alfonso in court apologized to the girl’s family saying, “I pray that one day you will forgive me, and I will forgive myself. I would never hurt a child unless I was on drugs. I take full responsibility for my actions.” He then turned directly to the mother and her family, and asked them to tell the little girl he apologized and was sorry that he was the reason she was having bad dreams.