LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon changed the sentence in a sex case Friday, after legal research convinced her that the sentence she wanted to impose all along would be legal.
Sheldon called Russell Bennett, 32, of 22nd Street, Niagara Falls, back to court two days after sentencing him to 18 months in state prison and 10 years of post-release supervision. She changed the sentence to six months in the County Jail and 9½ years of probation.
Bennett pleaded guilty to third-degree rape for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl in 2014.
Sheldon had thought that such a “split sentence” would be illegal in a case of that nature, but upon further review, found out it would be allowed.