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Falls police arrest rape suspect after standoff

A Sy Road man was arrested on felony rape charges after an hourlong standoff Friday with Niagara Falls police.

Falls Police detectives said they received a tip that Robert Pavlisin Jr., 44, had been involved in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in December. An investigation culminated in the execution of a search warrant at the home of Pavlisin’s parents, where he lived in the basement.

Detectives said Pavlisin was not present when they arrived at his parents’ house and he declined to return home or respond to relatives’ pleas that he return home. Pavlisin, detectives said, attempted to throw them off his trail by texting false information about his destinations to family members.

Detectives eventually located Pavlisin’s vehicle parked in a parking lot of a New Road business and determined that he was hiding in a nearby storage building.

Detective Ken Redmond spoke with Pavlisin by cellphone for more than an hour in an attempt to get him to surrender, police said. Several times during the conversation, Redmond said, Pavlisin claimed he had a gun, which he would point through a crack of plywood he was hiding behind during the standoff.

Pavlisin, police said, emerged from the building and dropped what turned out to be a pellet gun that he had purchased 20 minutes before the standoff began. Pavlisin surrendered about 7:30 p.m. and was taken into custody without incident, police said.

The suspect faces two counts of second-degree rape, one count of engaging in a criminal sex act in the second degree and one charge of first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, all felonies.

Detectives said they were contacted initially by someone who said they had seen inappropriate material on the 13-year-old victim’s cellphone.

Pavlisin faces an additional charge of obstructing governmental administration for the standoff. Members of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and Town of Niagara Police assisted during the standoff.

Detectives said more charges are expected, with similar encounters between Pavlisin and the victim in other locations outside Niagara Falls. Several cellphones and other electronic devices were seized during the search of the parents’ home, which also may result in further charges, police said.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com