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Francis blames victim in sex offence


CANTON — A Winthrop man who pleaded guilty in February to performing oral sex on a 13-year-old handicapped girl was back in court Monday.

St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards chided Michael A. Francis Sr., 56, of 292 Mahoney Road, for casting blame on the victim during his court appointed sex offender counseling sessions.

“The victim is not responsible unless she held you down and overpowered you,” Judge Richards said. “At least there is a defense there, but we both know that she didn’t.”

On Dec. 30, Francis was arrested by state police and charged with second-degree attempted criminal sex act, a class E felony, and was released under probation supervision pending sentencing.

At the time of the original investigation, the teenage victim told troopers she believed she had blacked out when the incident took place.

In court Monday, Judge Richards said Francis claimed the victim had been flirting with him in the months leading up to the event that resulted in his arrest and that she had been guilty of doing the same to other men in the past.

“Do you know how incredible this is?” Judge Richards asked Francis. “You are 56 and the victim is a 13-year-old handicapped girl. Even if she was coming on to you, it is still a violation of the law.”

Francis’s daughter reportedly walked in on Francis and the girl, reported the incident to an adult and that adult contacted state police. The victim said Francis had become much more friendly with her in the weeks after he split up with his girlfriend. She said he had given her $50, bought her Christmas presents and asked her to be his girlfriend.

Judge Richards adjourned Francis’s sentencing to July 8 at 8:15 a.m. and ordered 80 hours of alcohol screening. Francis was released under continued probation supervision.

In other court action Monday:

Jordan Bono, 25, of 1317 Morley Potsdam Road, Potsdam, was sentenced to five years of probation related to a second-degree vehicular assault class E felony charge.

On Feb. 27, 2011, Mr. Bono operated a 2006 Chevrolet Impala under the influence of marijuana and as a result caused serious physical injury to Kim B. Hayes, 57, Potsdam.

St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards transferred Mr. Bono’s probation supervision to Warren County, where he currently resides and is involved in a treatment program.

Timothy J. Green, 31, of 13 Pine St. Apt. B, Canton, pleaded guilty to first-degree scheme to defraud, a class E felony.

On July 18, Mr. Greene was charged with issuing four checks totaling $201.69 to the Potsdam IGA supermarket in June of 2012. All were returned for insufficient funds.

Additionally, on June 27, 2009, Mr. Greene used 16 invalid checks for purchases at Price Chopper, Bressette’s Bottles N Beverage and Rex Hardware totaling $1,078.

Mr. Green was released under probation supervision, with sentencing scheduled for Sept. 9 at 9:15 a.m.

William P. Sapoff, 21, of 304 E. Main St., Gouverneur, was sentenced to three years of probation with one year credit after completing one year of interim probation with total compliance.

Mr. Sapoff pleaded down his original April 19, 1212, guilty plea from fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class E felony to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.

In March of 2012, Mr. Sapoff and two other men were pulled over on County Route 25. A police dog helped officers locate one pound of hallucinogenic mushrooms stored in the vehicle’s trunk.

Timothy A. Thompson, 55, and Timothy A. Thompson II, 29, both of 125 Old State Road, were both issued an extension on their sentencing related to a 2011 marijuana possession charge.

On Nov. 29, 2011, in the town of DeKalb Junction, undercover agents allegedly were led there to buy 26.17 ounces of marijuana.

Both men were charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class E felony and were released under one year interim probation. Sentencing was adjourned to June 2, 2014.

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