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Niagara Falls man gets plea deal in sex case

LOCKPORT – A man who had been accused of raping a woman in a Niagara Falls hotel room was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor Tuesday, during jury selection for his trial.

Timothy J. Drylewski, 24, of 21st Street in the Falls, pleaded guilty to forcible touching, and Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon promised to impose a sentence of six years’ probation when he returns to court Oct. 21, Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco and Assistant Public Defender Michele G. Bergevin said.

Bergevin, who represented Drylewski along with co-counsel James J. Faso Jr., said Drylewski will not have to register as a sex offender. Zucco confirmed that forcible touching is not included on the list of registerable offenses if the victim is an adult. In this case, she was 20 years old.

The prosecutor said he offered the plea because “I have a reluctant victim who’s always been very anxious about testifying, and I think a very, very objective view of the evidence suggests that’s a fair disposition. I have to say I came to that idea rather late in the case, but I think it’s a fair disposition, too.”

A grand jury had indicted Drylewski on a first-degree rape charge, carrying a 25-year maximum sentence, in the wake of an encounter with the woman in a fifth-floor room in the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel on Feb. 4, 2015.

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