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Lancaster man gets plea deal in NT sex case

LOCKPORT – A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in his former apartment on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda was allowed to plead guilty to sharply reduced charges Monday in Niagara County Court.

Douglas Carnes, 42, of Roberts Drive, Lancaster, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, third-degree sexual abuse and resisting arrest. The sex incident occurred Nov. 23 and the tussle with North Tonawanda police three days later. Carnes faces a maximum of 15 months in Niagara County Jail when he is sentenced June 15 by County Judge Sara Sheldon, who reduced bail from $10,000 to $1,000.

Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco said Carnes won’t have to register as a sex offender because he has no prior sex offenses and the victim was an adult. Zucco said the woman, who reportedly took a drug overdose in an incident that he determined was not related to the sexual abuse, was no longer strongly pursuing the case.

When Carnes was arraigned Jan. 26, Assistant Public Defender David E. Blackley said it looked like the woman was partially recanting her story, and Sheldon said she had “great concerns” about the strength of the case.