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Falls man pleads guilty to statutory rape

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man admitted in Niagara County Court Wednesday that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl in November 2014.

Russell Bennett, 32, of 22nd Street, pleaded guilty to third-degree rape, also known as statutory rape. He could go to prison for as long as four years when he is sentenced April 27 by Judge Sara Sheldon. In the meantime, Bennett remains free on $5,000 bail.

Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco told Sheldon that the preindictment plea deal involved a decision not to prosecute Bennett for other sex offenses involving the same girl, including sexually explicit cellphone images of her.