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Buffalo man, shot in leg by victim's dad, pleads guilty

Buffalo man, shot in leg by victim's dad, pleads guilty

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Sara Sheldon Courtroom

The courtroom of Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon. (Thomas J. Prohaska/Buffalo News)

Steven L. Rossi, a Buffalo man shot in the right shin by a North Tonawanda father who caught him having sex with his 14-year-old daughter, pleaded guilty Friday to third-degree rape, known as statutory rape.

Rossi, 35, of East Utica Street, faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 28 by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon.

The incident occurred in the girl's home at about 5:45 a.m. July 6, Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Grundy said.

District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek said the girl had met Rossi online and invited Rossi to sneak into her home without her parents' knowledge, but the girl's parents and her uncle woke up and caught them.

Wojtaszek said the father tried to keep Rossi from fleeing and ended up shooting him in the leg.

Rossi was arrested at the home. Wojtaszek said the father was not charged because Rossi was uninvited by the homeowners and committed a crime there.

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