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Lawyer questions client’s mental health in sex case

LOCKPORT – A plea-bargain in a Lockport sex case was put on hold Thursday after Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict questioned his client’s mental health.

Benedict asked Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon to order another mental competency examination for Anthony C. Myles, 30, of Evans Street, Lockport. Sheldon agreed to do so and adjourned the case until July 22.

Myles was found competent after arraignment in Lockport City Court last month, but Benedict said when he talked to Myles at the County Jail Wednesday, he seemed confused and couldn’t answer questions adequately. “Most of the time I was met with a glazed-over look,” Benedict said. He added that Myles is being held in the jail’s Special Housing Unit, which equals solitary confinement.

Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said Myles is being offered a pre-indictment plea to attempted first-degree criminal sexual act, which carries a 15-year maximum prison sentence. Sloma said if the case were submitted to a grand jury, Myles could be indicted for predatory sexual assault against a child, which carries a potential life sentence.

The crime allegedly occurred in the late spring of 2010 in Lockport, but was only recently reported to authorities, Sloma said. She declined to release further details.