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Ex-Eden wrestling coach gets three years for raping two students

A judge on Thursday rejected claims from a former assistant wrestling coach that the two teenage girls he admitted raping were ruining his life.

“This is not something they did to you,” Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk told Justin N. Farrara as he sentenced him to three years in prison. “You’re the adult. You’re supposed to be the role model.”

The judge also ordered eight years of post-release supervision for Farrara and issued orders of protection for the victims, who were 14 and 16 at the time of the attacks.

Farrara, 28, of Richmond Avenue, Hamburg, pleaded guilty Aug. 19 to two counts of third-degree rape for having sex with the 16-year-old in August 2012 at his home in Eden, where he lived at the time, and with the 14-year-old in August 2014 at his home in Hamburg.

Farrara was employed as an assistant wrestling coach at the high school at the time of the first attack but had left that job by the time of the second attack.

School officials discovered his inappropriate relationships with the girls earlier this year from conversations posted on social media, prosecutors said. Both girls disclosed their relationships with Farrara when school officials contacted them.

Before sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Liam Dwyer cited a letter to the judge from the defendant’s mother who said that while she felt sorry for the girls and their parents, they should understand they are ruining a young man’s life.

The 14-year-old girl’s father said Farrara twice contacted his daughter through the Snapchat photo app after she disclosed their relationship.

“How could you do this to me?” he said the defendant asked his daughter. “You’re ruining my life.”

The father said he was disgusted that Farrara would accuse his daughter of ruining his life when it was the defendant who stole his daughter’s innocence and abused his position of authority.

He told the judge that Farrara preyed on his daughter for two years, only stopping when he was caught.

The 16-year-old girl’s mother told the judge that Farrara abused her daughter’s trust and used his contacts with boys he knew at the school to find out how to contact the victims.

John K. Jordan, Farrara’s attorney, said the letter from his client’s mother contained her words, not the defendant’s.

Farrara is an adult and has accepted responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty, sparing the girls and their families the further trauma of a trial, the attorney said.

He added that Farrara is undergoing counseling,

Farrara told the judge he was ashamed of his behavior. “No words can describe what I’ve done to the victims and their families,” he said. “I hope they can move forward.”

Farrara faced up to four years in prison on each count. The judge imposed a three-year prison term on each count and ordered the two terms to run concurrently. He also imposed $1,425 in fines and surcharges.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com