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Defendant sentenced in sex crimes

A defendant who pleaded guilty to sex crimes against a child was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison followed by 10 years of post-release supervision.

Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case sentenced Donald Bridges, 60, who pleaded guilty last month as charged to first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Bridges admitted sodomizing and sexually abusing a 6-year-old while baby-sitting him between November 2012 and December 2012. Prosecutors believe he threatened to hurt the child with a knife if he told anyone.

Eventually, the child told his first-grade teacher and a school counselor, who made a hotline call to Child Protective Services. The Buffalo Police Department’s Sex Offense Squad began a criminal investigation.

The child and his mother left the Buffalo area to avoid being harassed by Bridges and his family members, according to prosecutors. State police and an investigator with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office found them, and they cooperated in the investigation.