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52-year-old convicted in sex case

aridaA 52-year-old man formerly of the City of Tonawanda was convicted this week of one count of forcible touching and one count of endangering the welfare of a child for molesting a 16-year-old.

A jury deliberated less than an hour before finding Robert Arida guilty of the sex crimes, which occurred in 2013.  The case was investigated by Tonawanda detectives Lt. Schott Sheehan and Joseph Scarpena.

The victim reported Arida and testified at his trial, which was held before Tonawanda Judge Dean E. Lilac Jr.

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. praised the work of the investigators and the courage of the victim for coming forward.

“Although we are making strides, too often victims do not report these types of assaults for fear of being blamed themselves and the social stigma," Flaherty said. "It would be unconscionable to suggest that a 16-year-old juvenile is responsible for the criminal conduct of a 52-year-old man."

Arida moved to South Carolina when the case was scheduled for trial. After the verdict, Lilac ordered Arida into custody until his sentencing Jan. 19.

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