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Jury convicts Lockport man of raping two teenage girls, deadlocks on other charges

A jury Monday convicted a Town of Lockport man of raping two Lockport-area teenagers and deadlocked on rape charges related to two other girls. Charges pertaining to a fifth teen were dismissed.

The State Supreme Court jury deliberated for four days before convicting Jordan R. Patterson, 23, of Woodlawn Avenue, of 10 felonies and a misdemeanor. He faces a prison sentence up to 42 years.

"I would say it was more an emotional verdict than an evidentiary one," defense attorney Robert R. Fogg said of the guilty verdicts.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. allowed Patterson to remain free pending sentencing Nov. 19.

Kloch said the date will be postponed if the Niagara County District Attorney's Office decides to retry the 10 deadlocked counts. They include the most serious charges against Patterson, including two predatory sexual assault counts that carry possible life sentences.

District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek will have to decide whether to pursue the charges in another trial, Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Grundy said.

Fogg noted that the jury deadlocked on all charges relating to two of the four girls.

Jordan R. Patterson. (Photo courtesy of the Niagara County Sheriff's Office)

The jury found Patterson guilty of having sex with two 14-year-old girls. One said she had sex with Patterson in February 2016 in a house on Franklin Avenue in Lockport, where Patterson was then living, and again in July 2016 in his car.

The other girl testified that she had sex with Patterson as many as 14 times during the summer of 2016 at various Lockport locations.

The jury deadlocked on whether Patterson forcibly raped a 17-year-old girl in the bathroom of his uncle's Lockport house after a Labor Day pig roast on Sept. 5, 2015, and on whether he forced an underage girl to perform sex acts on him in August and September 2016.

A fifth accuser, who told police she was raped in a car in January 2017, decided she didn't want to testify, and five charges related to that alleged incident were dismissed during the 15-day trial.

That left 21 counts for the jury to consider, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carry maximum sentences of life in prison.

Fogg said in his summation that DNA testing produced no evidence the girls were ever in Patterson's car.

Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco, who prosecuted the case along with Grundy, said the DNA tests were taken six months after the latest of the alleged incidents in the car, so it wasn't surprising there was no definitive result.

Lockport police arrested Patterson in March 2017 and charged him with raping two of the girls. At the time, police asked anyone with more information to come forward. By June 2017, Patterson had been charged with raping three other girls.

In March, when the case originally was scheduled for trial, Patterson became nervous when he saw the prospective jurors lining up in the Niagara County Courthouse parking lot and observed that almost none of them had dark skin.

At the last moment, he asked for a nonjury trial, which Kloch granted. It ended in a mistrial because of disputes over the role of Patterson's aunt, an attorney who also was on the witness list concerning the alleged rape after the pig roast.

For the second trial, which began Sept. 4, Fogg convinced his client to let a jury hear the case. The jury comprised 11 whites – five men and six women – and one black woman.

Patterson, who rejected several plea offers, did not testify in his own defense. Fogg said his client contended all the accusers were lying, and Fogg made that argument in his summation.

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