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Former rehab nurse sentenced to prison after violating probation

A former nurse who had sex with two male patients at a Wheatfield rehabilitation center in 2016 was sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in prison after violating probation a second time.

Candace A. Seelbinder, 36, of Whitney Avenue, Niagara Falls, is a Level 2 sex offender because of the crimes at First Step, operated by Northpointe Council. Under state law, patients in a substance abuse rehab facility are considered legally unable to consent to sex.

Candace A. Seelbinder. (Photo courtesy of NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services)

Seelbinder failed to keep appointments with counselors and her probation officer, and was living with a person not approved by the Probation Department, defense attorney Brian J. Hutchison said.

Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III ordered 10 years of post-release supervision, meaning Seelbinder could be sent back to prison if there are future violations.

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