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Niagara County DA supports judge's decision to put admitted teen rapists on interim probation

The defendants have not yet been sentenced. They could still face time in state prison once the interim probation periods are over.

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — Two admitted teen rapists appeared in court this week before the same judge. While neither face time behind bars immediately, that doesn't mean they couldn't down the line. Both were placed on interim probation.

Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek said, "Neither one of these defendants has been sentenced. They have not been sentenced. Essentially it's as if their sentence has been adjourned or held in abeyance until their actual sentencing day."

The defendant in the Niagara Wheatfield case, who admitted to raping his high school classmate, is expected to receive his full sentence in 12 months.

The other defendant, who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and rape charges in a Lewiston house party case, should be sentenced in two years.

Both are still eligible for youthful offender status. For that reason, we are not showing their faces or using their names. If they are declared youthful offenders, their records would be sealed and they wouldn't be registered as sex offenders. But the outcome would be very different if the judge denies youthful offender status. 

"At the end of adjournment of the sentence, the defendant in Lewiston is facing eight years in state prison and the individual in Wheatfield is facing four years in state prison," said Wojtaszek.

Wojtaszek said interim probation is more common than you'd think in cases involving teenagers.

She told 2 on Your Side, "When you have someone who's 16 and 17-years-old when they commit a crime, there's not a lot of insight into who these people are so the judge's look to the professionals to do the proper assessments."

The terms of the probation are strict and if they break them, their sentencing dates will likely be moved up.

The DA also said her office expected the defendants to placed on interim probation and that was discussed with the victims in both cases. 

RELATED: Lewiston 18-year-old receives probation for sexual assault

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