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Man who was shot after having sex with 14-year-old girl will serve 2 years for rape

Steven L. Rossi, who sneaked into a North Tonawanda house July 6 to have sex with a 14-year-old girl but was shot in the leg when her father caught him, was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for third-degree rape.

"I agree with the Niagara County probation officer who said you present as predatory and should be sent to state prison," County Judge Sara Sheldon told Rossi, 35, of East Utica Street, Buffalo.

"He's lucky to be alive," defense attorney John M. Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the girl's online messages inviting Rossi over were "much more sexually graphic than you would expect from a girl of her age."

Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Grundy said Rossi told the probation officer that he thought the girl was 31. Grundy told Sheldon the victim is "a delayed child. ... She barely presents as 14."

Grundy also decried Rossi's claim that he couldn't tell how old the girl was because he didn't wear his eyeglasses.

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