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Auburn 18-year-old gets jail time, youthful offender status for rape
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Auburn 18-year-old gets jail time, youthful offender status for rape

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An 18-year-old Auburn man will serve six months in Cayuga County Jail but also have his criminal records sealed for a rape he committed last year.

The defendant said during his admission in Cayuga County Court Tuesday that he continued to have sex with a female victim after she told him to stop. The incident took place April 18, 2019 in the area of Wright Avenue in Auburn.

The defendant was then immediately sentenced and given youthful offender status, which vacated the conviction he earned by pleading guilty. The adjudication is granted to defendants based on factors like age and lack of previous felony convictions, Judge Mark Fandrich said in court.

Fandrich granted youthful offender status over Cayuga County Senior Assistant District Attorney Heather DeStefano's request to reconsider, citing parts of the defendant's grand jury testimony.

"I'm sorry for what I did," the defendant said in his statement to the court, adding he knew it's been hard on the victim and her family.

He pleaded guilty to third-degree rape, a class E felony, in exchange for the sentence of six months in the Cayuga County Jail to be followed by 10 years of probation without the requirement to register as a sex offender.

At the time, Fandrich did not grant a request from defense counsel to potentially shorten jail time with a community service component.

Also in court:

• An Auburn man with past felony convictions will serve a three-year sentence with shock camp for selling cocaine in 2018.

Christopher Piedmont, 48, admitted last December to selling cocaine on March 30, 2018, in the area of North Street in Auburn.

Around the time of Piedmont's Sept. 12 arrest, police said he sold the substance to a Finger Lakes Drug Task Force informant on two occasions. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class B felony.

The pre-sentence investigation completed after his plea brought up questions during his sentencing on Tuesday regarding whether he fully accepted responsibility for the crime.

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said Piedmont "outright" denied ever making a sale and misrepresented his involvement. He also described Piedmont's criminal history that involved two prior felony convictions, failed probation sentences and about 700 days in local jail.

As a result of comments Piedmont made in the report, Fandrich asked him whether he committed the crime he already pleaded to.

"Yes, I did," he said and confirmed again after Fandrich asked if there was any question about his guilt.

Fandrich allowed the sentencing to go forward with the original plea bargain promising Piedmont a three-year prison sentence with a shock camp order and two years of parole. He will also be required to pay $100 in restitution for the drug money and a $50 DNA testing fee.

• A Liverpool man who was held in Cayuga County Jail since March 3 was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in February to two felonies.

Jerrard Hoey, 41, of 114 Dorando Way, attempted to have sexual intercourse with a minor May 17 at or near the town of Brutus. He also admitted to sending a picture of a penis to someone he believed would send it to a minor.

The person he thought was younger than 15 years old was actually an undercover member of the New York State Police.

Hoey was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years of probation with a shock component of six months in the Cayuga County Jail. He received the sentence in exchange for pleading guilty Feb. 3 to the class E felonies of second-degree attempted rape of an actor younger than 17 years old and first-degree attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor.

• A 37-year-old man admitted to violating an order of protection and was sentenced for the violations in the same proceeding.

Mark Harrison admitted to being in the presence of a person benefiting from an order of protection against him on two occasions, Feb. 26 and April 6 of 2019, while in Locke. Harrison currently lives outside of Orlando, Fla. but previously resided at 511 Hillsdale Ave. in Syracuse.

Harrison was able to plead guilty Tuesday to two counts of second-degree criminal contempt, which are misdemeanors. Fandrich then sentenced him to one year of a conditional discharge that requires him to follow all laws and obey the victim's order of protection.

Staff writer Mary Catalfamo can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or mary.catalfamo@lee.net. Find her on Twitter @mrycatalfamo.

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Crime/courts reporter

I cover criminal court, public safety and the Cayuga County government for The Citizen and auburnpub.com. You can also find my health and entertainment features online and in the Lake Life section of the paper.

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