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July 31, 2014 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

The Raceway Mini-Mart at 629 E. Main St., Batavia, has closed.

A customer contacted us last week about the impending closure and said the store shelves were nearly bare as the owners wound down their operation of the location. She said the owners told her annual rent increases were making it harder to keep the business going. 

She said she was sad to see them close.

"They are the nicest store owners I have encountered," she said. "Every time I’ve gone in there I have just felt that they were so appreciative of my business, and their friendly nature is just so welcoming."

The property is owned by Kevin Brady, president of Townsend Energy in Le Roy.

Brady wasn't available for comment, but a Townsend employee said the building has been leased to another operator and will reopen, but no name or opening date is available at this time.

Photo and some reporting by Alecia Kaus / Video News Service.

July 31, 2014 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Inconsistencies in witnesses testimonies, a lack of evidence, and a witness who had motivation to lie are all reasons to find Sean Vickers not guilty of sexually abusing five boys in Batavia, defense attorney Jerry Ader told jurors today in closing arguments of the three-day trial.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman countered that Ader "nibbled around the edges" of the case and ignore inconvenient facts.

Jurors are being asked to decide whether Vickers is guilty of sodomy (the title of the law at the time of the alleged offenses) and criminal sexual act.

Vickers, a former Batavia resident, was living in Geneva at the time of his arrest. 

Ader, of the Public Defender's Office, told jurors that one witness told investigators at one time that he was eight years old when Vickers molested him; at trial, the same person said the acts occurred in 2011. 

Both statements couldn't be true, Ader said.

"You have people here who just don't remember what happened and when," Ader said. "That leads to whether these things happened at all."

Friedman said that while a person's childhood memories may be faulty about dates, they aren't faulty -- at least in this case -- about the searing memories of abuse.

None of the alleged victims at any point were inconsistent or recanted their testimony about specific acts of abuse, even if they couldn't place them at the right time in their lives.

"That's not something they forget," Friedman said. "That's not something they confuse with something else. That's something that sticks with them for the rest of their lives."

Ader said only one police officer testified at trial and provided only one fact relevant to the case.

"The people did not offer any evidence to support the alleged victim's testimony from an unbiased law enforcement investigation," Ader said. "You heard testimony from a forensic expert that interestingly can explain every inconsistency as being consist with child abuse. How convenient that every possible inconsistency can support sexual abuse."

There was an investigation, Friedman said. That's how some of the witnesses were located and their stories of past abuse -- or knowledge of abuse -- were brought to light.  

And the forensic expert didn't testify that inconsistencies were evidence. She explained, Friedman said, why children who have been abused sometimes lie, hide the truth, are fearful of coming forward and change their stories. 

"We're not at all suggesting that this is evidence of abuse," Friedman said. "This is not a diagnostic tool. We're not saying if you find those factors it proves abuse. The purpose of her testimony is for you to hear from an expert with her speciality explaining why these things happen and don't happen."

The alleged victims were consistent in the key facts: their abuse, Friedman said.

"With five victims in this case, there is no indication of them ever retracting the allegations of sexual abuse," Friedman said. "There's no indication of peer pressure. There's no indication of suggestions by others."

Ader was especially critical of one witness, now an adult serving a state prison term for sexual abuse, who claimed to have been abused by Vickers when he was 12.

The witness has been denied parole before and has another upcoming parole hearing. That's motivation to lie, Ader said.

"He's been in prison for years," Ader said. "He's had more than enough opportunity to make statements, to contact police, to say something about (Vickers) for years, without any threats or promises. (Vickers) can't get him in prison. He can send an anonymous letter. Nothing. But now he needs to get out of prison, so he makes the allegations against (Vickers). How convenient."

The fact is, Friedman said, the witness had shared his allegation of abuse at the hands of Vickers 10 years ago, just not in as much detail as now.

Also, it's not like the witness came forward. An investigator located him and questioned him. There's no evidence the prisoner asked for or received special treatment in exchange for his testimony.

The jury started deliberations after receiving instructions on the law and the counts against Vickers this afternoon.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story left out the word "not" in the following quote from DA Lawrence Friedman: ""This is not a diagnostic tool."

July 30, 2014 - 8:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

About 15 to 20 people are reportedly fighting, armed with baseball bats, at Lewis Place and State Street. City police are responding.

UPDATE 8:54 p.m.: Howard at the scene reports that there are six cop cars at the scene, including units from the Sheriff's Department. In addition, he said dozens of people "are milling about," some of whom are being interviewed by law enforcement. One witness told Howard that no baseball bats were involved.

July 30, 2014 - 8:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

At least 10 vehicles were broken into this evening on Bank Street Road at the Batavia Sports Park. The victims of these "smash-and-grab" crimes are missing purses, wallets, jewelry, credit cards and more.

Mostly, side windows were smashed, but one vehicle had a rear window smashed.

The crimes were reported by an off-duty deputy. State Troopers are on scene now.

Although soccer and kickball games were under way at the park, no witnesses have been found.

In addition to these crimes, it is reported that overnight on the city's Southside, at least four criminal mischief complaints resulted from vehicle break-ins.

For tips that may aid in the investigation, State Police can be reached at (585) 344-6200.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.: Using mobile phone tracking technology, State Police were able to locate three bags of purses in a dumpster at a hotel in Clarence off the Thruway. No suspects found.

July 30, 2014 - 6:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Reed Eye Associations.

In the past, when Dr. Ronald Reed has expanded his practice, he's erected gleaming new buildings from the ground up.

But not in Batavia.

Reed Eye Associates has opened its sixth location and Reed selected a location with character and ambiance and a bit of history.

The brick building at 39 Washington Ave., across from Austin Park, was most recently the City Schools administration building, but when originally built in 1903 by Edward Dellinger, it was an elementary school.

Batavia's most prominent architectural firm of the time, Henry Homelius and Son, designed the building.

In remodeling the interior, Reed has kept to an art deco theme with a touch of modernism in keeping with the character of the building.

"I saw the building listed online and went to the site and looked at the building and liked it," Reed said. "I called Tony Mancuso, who had the listing, and he gave me a tour. I thought, 'this building needs a lot of work, but it has some great bones.' "

Refurbishing the building also uncovered a little history. One brickmason left behind a note found in the stairwell that said the best men laid the bricks. Another worker in 1939 put a note in a bottle, which was found in a wall, that said "if you're reading this note, it means by now we're all in hell."  

Then there was letter on YMCA letterhead and postmarked 1913, address to a young Myron Fincher. The apparently mimeographed letter speaks of a young man worthy of attention who exchanged a correspondence with Frank Crane, a Presbyterian minister and newspaper columnist. The letter references the enclosed newspaper column, but the column was not in the envelop.

Fincher was born in 1898 in Corfu and worked on the family farm. His fondness for animals brought him to Cornell University. He became an internationally prominent veterinarian. Early in his career he received the Borden Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. By the 1960s, he was working overseas in places such as Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Greece, Nigeria and Italy.

Reed said it was thrilling for these little bits of history to be found in his old building.

Reed's company purchased the property from the school district in 2012 for $500,000 and its 13,452-square-foot building. The renovations cost more than $1.5 million and helped put the property back on the tax roles. Reed Eye received $140,861 in tax incentives through Genesee County Economic Development Center for the project.

The expansion of the practice, which was founded in Bushnell's Basin (Pittsford) in 1978 has come, Reed said, as the practice attracted more and more patients. Each time an office would grow beyond its capacity, rather than expand that location, Reed looked at his patient list and figured out where he had a concentration of patients who were driving some distance to get to his office.

First, Reed Eye expanded to Greece, then Irondequoit, then Newark followed by Sodus.

Expansion has been driven, Reed said, by his belief that doctors should focus on their patients.

No long ago, he said he was asked to speak to a group about the secret of his success. He declined, he said, because "there is no secret."

"My word of advise is 'take good care of your patients and your patients will take care of you,' " Reed said. "If that's the focus of your practice, the patients will build your practice. If you don't, you won't have a practice."

With more and more patients from Genesee County, particularly because of a partnership with Dr. Bill Lapple in Le Roy, Batavia seemed to be the natural choice for a sixth office complex.

Reed said there were simply no suitable sites for the office, which was one reason he considered the old school administration building.

The fact that it's large, with plenty of parking (and room for more), centrally located in the city and across the street from a park, where all advantages.

"The park helps give it a nice bucolic feel," Reed said.

In the redesign, as much of the old building was preserved as possible -- the arches, the worn stairway trampled by thousands of students over the years, and the old woodwork. There's even an old desk from the library that is being restored and will be a centerpiece of the entry hallway.

"I've had an interest for some time in historic preservation," Reed said. "We have a 100 year old house in East Rochester that we've been restoring. This seemed like the right thing to do."

The focus on historic preservation shouldn't imply that the practice isn't state of the art. Reed's optometrists, opthamologists and opticians (and even a facial plastic surgeon) have all new equipment to work with.

Read also believes in supporting the communities he does business in. He hires locally as much as possible, he said. Four key employees already with the Batavia office are longtime Batavia or Le Roy residents.

"When a patient walks in the door, they should recognize the people who work there as members of their community," Reed said. "I want to support the town because if the town supports me, it has to be mutual. We want to keep the dollars local."

There will be a ribbon-cutting and open house for Reed Eye Associations at 2 p.m., Friday.

Optomistrist Kimberly Rosati with patient Tanner Richardson, who was in the clinic Wednesday learning how to put in his new contact lenses (picture below).

July 30, 2014 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, Attica.

A Batavia Downs patron is alive today because of the training and calm professionalism of a security guard who started CPR and helped administer defibrillation.

Cory Lapp is only 21, but he's already been a volunteer EMT with the Attica Fire Department for three years (he joined the department at age 16). His medical training came in handy while working security at the casino when he checked on a report of a patron who was down and unresponsive.

"There were a couple of people standing around, so I peaked over and realized he wasn't moving at all," Lapp said.

Lapp immediately started CPR and summoned a partner, Officer Bob Humphrey, to retrieve the defibrillator.

Together, they used the machine on the patient and the man revived and was later transported to the hospital.

The name of the patient has not been released.

As an EMT, Lapp has been called on to perform CPR before, but he said it still feels pretty good to save a life.

"It feels good to know that when he was in my hands, he was alive," Lapp said. "It's a good feeling. It's kind of hard to describe it."

As Lapp walked with a reporter through the facility, coworkers congratulated him.

"Good job, Cory," they said as he walked by.

July 30, 2014 - 5:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A caller reports a child on a bicycle was struck by a Jeep in the area of East Avenue and Walker Place. City police, fire and medics responded.

This was initially reported as being at 34 Columbia Ave. Regardless, the victim is inside the residence at that address.

The vehicle was also described as being a gray van.

City fire is back in service. Police are speaking roadside with the driver.

UPDATE 5:13 p.m.: Medics are taking the patient to UMMC. He is described as 9 years old and complaining of right side pain and a bump on his head.

July 30, 2014 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Concert Band, arts, music, entertainment.

Due to the likelihood of rain, the Batavia Concert Band's performance this evening is moved to the Stuart Steiner Theater at GCC.

From the announcement:

Tonight's concert will feature bandmembers' and conductor John Bailey's favorite pieces from this Summer and years past. It'll be an audience (and musician) pleasing mix of movie themes, Big Band and Broadway tunes, and of course -- marches!

July 30, 2014 - 2:00pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, crime.

The first witness this morning in the sexual abuse trial of Sean Vickers, a former Batavia resident, offered testimony that was jarring and explicit.

The child testified that Vickers forced him to perform oral and anal sexual acts.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked a series of questions about the acts, which the child answered in simple, direct language.

Friedman: "What did that feel like?"

The witness: "It didn't feel good. I cried."

That witness and a second child testified to alleged abuse in early Autumn, 2012.

Defense attorney Jerry Ader asked the first witness about family outings with Vickers.

"You had said that Sean (Vickers) bought things for you. Were these purchases just for you?"


"So when you went out with Sean, he paid for those outings?"

"He paid for outings, but I'm really not sure."

Next, Ader switched gears. Reminding the first witness that he had been asked these questions before, right here in Batavia, where the witness had responded that nothing ever happened; also asking the witness if he had said anything to anyone about Vickers, to which the witness responded, no.

"I said nothing happened because I was scared."

After Ader's questions to the witnesses, the DA asked if Vickers had said anything to them. "Do you like it?" "You can't tell anyone" and "You have to promise not to tell anyone" were the responses.

The third witness's memory was a bit shaky at times and Ader masterfully cast doubt as to the credibility of said witness.

"When you were here before in front of the Grand Jury you had said that Vickers told you not to say anything to anyone, yet today you are saying that he said nothing?"


"So, which one is the truth?"

"He didn't say anything."

Friedman countered Ader, asking the witness to think back at the time in 2012 and asked the witness again if Vickers said anything to him and again, the witness again said he (Vickers) did not say anything to him.

However, Friedman also asked the witness if he had said anything to anyone about what Vickers did to him.

"Yes. My Uncle and Dad."

"You didn't tell your Mom?"


The morning's final witness testified that Vickers had spent several weekends in their home as well as a relative's home where the boys had often gone to throughout the Summer, occasionally spending weekends there. The witness also verified that Vickers purchased items for the family, as well as, treated them to outings such as skiing, camping, the zoo, and the movies.

"Whatever the boys wanted, they got."

Friedman asked the witness if Vickers had ever took videos of the boys, whereas the witness affirmed. However, Ader countered that objections to the videos being taken were never voiced, to which the witness concurred. Ader also pointed out that the witness could not definitively say that Vickers was at the residence where the boys spent an occasional weekend, as the witness was not the only person who had dropped them off.

Before the jury entered the courtoom for the morning testimony, Ader objected to the use of two prosecution witnesses. The jury is already aware of the effects of child abuse, Ader argued. Friedman said the expert testimony is necessary for the jury to have a complete understanding of the effects of child abuse. Judge Robert C. Noonan overruled the objection.

The trial resumes at 2 p.m.

July 30, 2014 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien.

Benito A. Gay, 26, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd. Gay is accused of giving a false name to police in an attempt to hide his identity as an alleged parole absconder. Gay was jailed on a NYS Parole retainer.

Mckayla J. Kosiorek, 19, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Kosiorek allegedly possessed marijuana paraphernalia containing marijuana residue.

Alex Scott Dumbleton, 21, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt, 1st. The day after being served an order of protection barring contact with two people, Dumbleton allegedly went to the residence of the protected parties.

Brian Eric Daggar, 28, Woodmill Drive, Holley, is charged with petit larceny. Dagger was arrested on a Town of Batavia warrant by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office during an investigation into an incident at the Walmart in Brockport.

Amanda Marie Webb, 25, of Colby Road, Darien, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument, 3rd. Webb was stopped for an alleged traffic infraction on Colby Road, Darien, and was found to have a warrant out of City Court for an alleged crime reported March 31 at 10 at Jefferson Square, Batavia.

July 30, 2014 - 12:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

The Patriot Guard delivered today one more gift, one more honor for Karie Schmigel, the mother of Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, the Iraq War veteran and paratrooper who died while training at Fort Bragg, N.C., in early June.

Members of the group of motorcycle riders -- who often serve as honor guard and escort for soldiers who die in the line of duty, and did so for Shaina's funeral -- drove to Karie's house on South Swan this evening to deliver a special portrait of Sgt. Schmigel.

Karie was immediately overcome as soon as she saw it.

The portrait was presented by Robert Polanski, left, and Scott Hayes.

The Schmigel family is selling bracelets, stickers and T-shirts to honor Shaina. The proceeds are being donated to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg. So far, $1,500 has been raised.

July 30, 2014 - 12:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Driving down South Jackson, I see a man in black slacks and a dress shirt with a push mower cutting his lawn.

If it were the 1950s or 1960s, perhaps that wouldn't be unusual.

Frank DeMare said it is a little unusual for him to cut the lawn. Usually, it's one of his sons.

DeMare has four sons and a small yard, so he's never seen the point in buying a power mower, or a power snow blower, for that matter. Shovels work just fine.

July 29, 2014 - 11:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia bulldawgs, football, sports, youth sports.

As we move into August, football is in the air. The Batavia Bulldawgs started practices this week with sessions in the late afternoon at Kibbe Park. The first league games are Aug. 16, with Batavia hosting Attica at Lions Park.

July 29, 2014 - 11:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

As families left a lunchtime soup kitchen at the Assembly of God Church on North Spruce Street this afternoon, an unknown person apparently fired BBs at them.

The thwack of a BB against the siding of a building got everybody's attention and then after another shot, a BB was seen on the ground.

One BB narrowly missed a child, the child's mother said.

Police were called and a canvass of the area failed to produce a suspect. The shots were believed fired from a neighboring apartment complex.

"I don't know the motivation," said Sgt. Dan Coffey. "I don't know why somebody would decide to shoot BBs in the direction of a church, let alone the people standing outside near it. I couldn't speculate on that at this point."

The building wall showed clear evidence of at least one BB's impact.

Valerie White and Daniel Orlando said their little was almost struck by one of the shots as she was sitting in her stroller. The couple and their two children, ages 3 and 5, were outside talking with another family and their kids when the incident occurred just before noon today.

"All the sudden we hear two ping, pings hitting the side of the building," White said. "We're looking around to see what's going on. It sounded like little stones hitting the building. Somebody noticed it was a BB coming toward us and we looked on the ground and there was a BB on the ground and there was a hole in the building. One just missed our daughter."

Orlando held up two fingers an inch apart and said, "it was probably this close."

Coffey said the weapon could either be CO2-powered or a pump-style BB gun. 

The suspects, if identified, are looking at possible reckless endangerment and criminal mischief charges.

Anyone with any information can contact the Batavia Police at 585-345-6350.

Original reporting for this story by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

July 29, 2014 - 6:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

Four new witnesses were called to the stand when testimony resumed this afternoon in the child sex abuse case of convicted child molester Sean Vickers.

Though their testimonies were mostly compelling, defense attorney Jerry Ader managed to point out gaps in recollections, dates and other specifics in an effort to cast a shadow of doubt in the jurors' minds.

Among those who took the stand was a 25-year-old prisoner brought in by officers from another county. He wore a white shirt, tan pants, ankle shackles, and looked dead ahead from the witness stand.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman straightaway dispatched with the witness's criminal record. The man is serving time for criminal trespass and two counts of first-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor. He pled guilty when he was 17 of unlawfully entering the home of an acquaintance and forcibly touching the genitals of two females, ages 7 and 11. He has served more than five years, out of a maximum of eight, and his third parole hearing is this fall.

Then Friedman asked about Vickers.

The alleged victim said he is one of five boys in his family, Vickers was an adult relative, and that from the time period of November 2001 to April 2002, Vickers had performed oral sex on him and vice-versa at least five or more times.

At that point, several of the jurors stared hard at Vickers. They were all paying attention.

On cross-examination, Ader honed in on the witness's credibility.

Ader contended that the witness has an ulterior motivation for coming forward now and telling about alleged oral sexual conduct with Vickers. The witness's time off for good behavior was voided due to problems during his incarceration. To convince authorities to give the credits back, and have that recommendation made at his third parole hearing in September, he's testifying today, Ader maintained.

In 2004, Ader noted, nothing was mentioned about oral sexual contact, nine years later it surfaces.

But upon questioning by Friedman, it was pointed out that the witness didn't reach out to police about Vickers, rather the police contacted the witness in order to re-interview him for this case about his contact with Vickers.

Next, Ader asked the witness if one someone had been removed from his mother's home. The witness said Child Protective Services had ordered Vickers to be removed from the home.

That's not the answer he was looking for, so he ignored the statement. He asked about one of his brothers. Was one of them was removed from the home?


"Were you ever told why?"


"Did you ever wonder why?"


Did (this brother) ever touch you inappropriately?"


The next witness was a 23-year-old brother of the first witness. Friedman questioned him about getting in trouble with the police. The young man told the jurors that in August of 2002 he got caught throwing rocks at the sand wash on Cedar Street and the cops took him to his house in Batavia. Only Vickers was there and they began arguing. Then the boy went in the basement to fold laundry. Vickers came down there and told him he was in big trouble. When the boy was standing against the washing machine, he said Vickers "touched my groin area...probably less than a minute. ... I ran upstairs. I was afraid."

From November 2001 to February 2004, Vickers sexually molested him on several occasions, the second witness said. Specifically, Vickers performed oral sex on him. The witness at this point appeared a bit uncomfortable, yawning nervously and wriggling about.

It was the dates of those instances that Ader parsed. How could he remember the dates? Are you saying you can remember this from 10 years ago?

The witness said he remembers the date of the time in the laundry room because it was the first real trouble he'd gotten into. The second time in which he recalled a specific date was because "it was Buffalo Bills day."

An exhibit was then entered into the court record -- an affidavit which he signed in May of 2013. It describes his run-in with police, arguing with Vickers about it, but nothing about sexual contact. It says he was 11, but he was actually 8 at the time. And the statement about an instance of abuse on Buffalo Bills day says he was 8, but he was actually 11.

"You really don't have a good memory about this do you?"

"No," the witness replied. "It's hard enough as it is."

Next the prisoner was recalled to the stand and simply asked if the alleged abuse occurred at the same address (the one his brother cited). "Yes."

The third witness for the prosecution testified that he knows one of the alleged victims, from another family, because his brother is married to the child's mother.

Last August, with Vickers behind the wheel, the third witness and his brother all went to the IMAX theater in Rochester to see a movie. The brother, having some knowlege of the alleged molestation, asked Vickers if he had been touching the child. The answer was yes. The brother said "stay away from our house." "Okay," the previously convicted molester replied.

This witness, too, has had legal problems. In 2009, at age 17, he entered guilty pleas to several misdemeanors, including stealing bicycles out of people's yards, shoplifting at Walmart, and more serious, providing alcohol to minors. He spent a year in jail and then was put on probation.

When Ader asked about the movie trip, he wanted to know if the radio was on, was it loud, since he had a cell phone with him -- why didn't he text and tell someone about Vickers' alleged admission of guilt?

The third witness said when he returned home that night, he did tell the child's mother.

The final witness was this child's mother -- a married woman who has two sons, ages 11 and 9.

She testified that from Spring 2012 to Spring 2013, Vickers often had contact with her family, as he was a relation by marriage. They went skiing, to movies, on picnics.

"He paid for things, like a Kindle Fire, rollerblades, bought Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, expensive things," she said. "At times he spent the night in our attic, it's finished, it's a bedroom. He slept on a pad on the floor."

The district attorney elicited that her sister has twin boys and they often spent nights at the witness's house as well, including about four or five overnight stays when Vickers was staying over.

The mother bit her lip repeatedly. Swallowed hard. Teared up.

She told the panel that today her youngest son has attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder; he is emotionally disturbed; suffers from anxiety; and has also been diagnosed with "behavorial defiance disorder."

Then she talked more about Vickers.

"Sean would pay for us (she and her husband) to go do things and he said he'd pay for it and he'd babysit."

And how many times did this type of arrangement occur? Friedman asked.

"Fifty times or more," she replied.

Ader asked if her brother-in-law had told her about the conversation he had with Vickers in the car on the way to the movies. Yes, she said. Ader asked if her youngest son had told her he had been "touched." No, she said.

By this time, the impassive, pale-faced Vickers started taking notes on a legal pad. He is diminutive, balding and gray in back; he wore a black suit. He is slight of chin and completely unremarkable in mien.

The last witness further testified that she had not alerted the police after her brother-in-law relayed the car conversation because she had already done so "long before."

The defense attorney's next line of questioning brought forth testimony that many guests came and went at her household, including one who had been convicted of providing alcohol to minors.

There were plenty of guests.

"More than I'd like," she said.

The case resumes tomorrow morning.

(Batavia PD Det. Kevin Czora also testified, simply that he investigated the case; no details.)

July 29, 2014 - 3:24pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, sex offender, Vickers, trial.

The witnesses are now grown men, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told jurors this afternoon to open the trial of Sean Vickers, accused of sexual abuse.

The alleged crimes occurred 12 years ago, but the scars remain, Friedman said.

"He (Vickers) damaged the boys by what he did to them in the late '90s," Friedman said.

Vickers, already a convicted sex offender, was indicted in November on 10 felony sexual abuse counts, including predatory sexual abuse.

According to Friedman, Vickers got to know the family and the kids; he built trust with the families and would often spend overnights in their homes.

"This (the children) is what the case is about," Friedman said. "Through the testimony of the boys and witnesses, you will hear an admission of guilt by the defendant himself; and based on the evidence you will hear and see, I ask that you return a verdict of guilt."

In rebuttal, Defense Attorney Jerry Ader asked the jury to follow the law and not emotion.

"You haven't heard the evidence or the witnesses," Ader said. "You don't know enough at this point to make a decision. You have to listen to every element on all the charges and they have to be proven without a reasonable doubt.

"Emotions run high in a case like this, listen to the evidence, follow the law," Ader continued.

Ader asked the jurors to judge each crime individually, reminding them that they swore an oath to follow the law to wherever the decision may lead. He also noted that the surface has just been scratched and to not just judge on the basis that children were involved.

"Keep an open mind. These are complex charges," Ader said.

According to the first witness, a member of the clergy, Vickers openly confessed in the presence of his then wife, to sexually abusing two of his stepchildren. The witness stated that Vickers and his wife had come to him in November 2004 and informed him of what Vickers had done. The witness encouraged Vickers to turn himself in and his wife to get help for her boys so they may begin the healing process.

The former Batavia resident is charged with course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree; predatory sexual assault against a child in the first degree; abuse of a child in the first degree; and endangering the welfare of a child.

The trial resumed at 2 p.m.

July 29, 2014 - 2:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Police investigators are looking into separate incidents last week to try and determine if the crimes are related and identify suspects.

The first incident involved a robbery in the area of Tracy and Washington avenues in which three people robbed a pedestrian at about 11:20 p.m., July 19.

The second incident was two nights later and involved four individuals jumping a victim in the area of State Street and Willow Street.

While the robbery was previously reported, BPD has released suspect descriptions. 

The three youths are described as a black male, late teens, wearing a dark-colored hoodie; a light-skinned male in his late teens wearing a white tie-died muscle shirt; and, a person in the late teens with no other description provided.

One of the teens threatened the victim with the use of a weapon and told him to give him his money. The victim did not see a weapon displayed, but followed orders and handed over his money.

In the second incident, the victim was sitting on a porch talking with a friend when a person approached and asked to speak with him along the side of the house. 

As he moved to the side of the house, three other individuals surrounded him. 

The first person started a confrontation with the victim and the other three people jumped in.

A witness called police and when police arrived, the suspects ran.

One juvenile was detained and later released to a parent. 

The 20-year-old victim was treated at the scene by Mercy EMS and said he didn't require further treatment. 

Anyone having information should contact the Batavia Police at 345-6350 or confidentially via e-mail on the City of Batavia Web site link to the Batavia Police or Tip Line 345-6370.

July 29, 2014 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Google.

If you saw a couple of guys with cameras on tripods this morning on Main Street, they are Drew and Adam Hilker, who are contractors with Google traveling the state shooting pictures for an updated street view map on Google Maps.

The new street view is intended to provide more detail in business districts, such as Downtown Batavia.

July 29, 2014 - 9:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, alexander, Le Roy, Pavilion.

Dennis C. Bump, 33, of Stannard Road, Alexander, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd. Bump is accused of stealing from his employer at various locations in Batavia. Bump was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Ann M. Capuano, 29, of West Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. The underlying charges for her court appearance in this case were not released by police. She had been issued an appearance ticket on a previous matter. Capuano was released on $100 cash bail.

Desmond L. Majors, 21, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with two counts of harassment, 2nd, and disorderly conduct. Majors allegedly struck another person and yelled obscenities in a public place.

Kenisha A. Thomas, 16, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd. Thomas is accused of assaulting another person while in Austin Park at 3:10 p.m., Sunday.

Daniel Robert Ruffner, 28, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Ruffner is accused of being the primary aggressor in a fight with another person.

Laurie J. Lerkins, 37, of Le Roy, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana. Lerkins was reportedly involved in a two-car accident on Route 98, Town of Java. Lerkins allegedly failed to maintain her lane and struck a vehicle driven by Rodney L. Gleason, 53, of North Chili. Upon subsequent investigation by state troopers, Lerkins was allegedly found to be under the influence of drugs. She was issued traffic tickets for failure to keep right, aggravated unlicensed operation, unlicensed operation and failure to notify DMV of a change of address.

Also, a Grand Jury indictment:

Cassandra R. Blake is indicted on one count of grand larceny, 4th. Blake is accused of stealing 245 lottery tickets with a face value of $1,028, along with payouts from those tickets and other cash, from the Yellow Goose store in Pavilion on or about June 21 and 22.

July 28, 2014 - 4:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports.

Tonight’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and Williamsport Crosscutters has been postponed due wet and unsafe field conditions. This game will be made up as part of a double-header on Tuesday, July 29th. We will play two seven-inning games, with the first game starting at 5:05 p.m. Gates will open at 4 p.m. Any person with tickets to tonight’s game can exchange their tickets for any other regular season game, subject to availability.





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