David A. Vickers, the man accused of sexually abusing six underage boys from Buffalo and Batavia over a 25-year period, is going to prison.
A federal court jury found Vickers guilty Wednesday of taking two of the six boys across state lines for the purpose of having sex. Vickers, 50, will face up to life in prison when he is sentenced in June by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
“I feel like justice was done,” said Holly L. Hubert, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo office.
Rooted in allegations that date from as far back as 1989, the government’s prosecution of Vickers centered on six boys who lived with or knew the defendant. The boys are now adults and, during testimony last week, accused the tractor-trailer driver of sexually abusing them on overnight trucking trips or during visits to Vickers’ home in Chili and later Geneva.
“The evidence in the case showed that for 25 years, and as part of a continuous and uninterrupted pattern, he was grooming and sexually abusing his victims,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango.
The FBI, which led the investigation into Vickers, also believes that five of the six boys were abused by his brother, Sean M. Vickers, who is currently serving a 107-year prison sentence for sexually abusing underage boys in Niagara and Genesee counties.
During David Vickers’ trial, several victims took the witness stand to explain how the defendant enticed them with gifts and money and later abused them.
“Critically important and very compelling,” Hubert said of their testimony. “I think it made, collectively, the evidence in the case stronger.”
Mango said the victims’ testimony about the impact of Vickers’ abuse on them – the stories of lost childhoods and debilitating emotional problems – was especially important to the prosecution. “It was critical testimony,” he said. “It was the centerpiece of the trial.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering also prosecuted the case.
The trial also revealed the role of Family Court in Genesee County regarding Vickers’ relationship with the two boys at the center of the charges against him.
In 2003, he asked the court to permit one of the boys, then 14, to live with him, and the court agreed. Prosecutors say the boy, who already was being sexually abused by Vickers, remained in his care for two more years.
Two years later, the court again ordered an underage boy, this one a foster child, to live with Vickers. The government says he also was abused.
Throughout the trial, Vickers tried to raise doubts about the credibility of the victims, suggesting at times that their stories were fabricated or at least embellished. Vickers also was quick to blame his brother. Leslie Scott, an assistant federal public defender, declined to comment on the verdict or the possibility of an appeal.