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Man who raped minor in multiple jurisdictions accepts plea offer in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens
Nicholas Turnquist
2020 File Photo

A 37-year-old man who once lived in Wyoming County and Erie County, and is already facing 13 years in federal prison on a sex crimes conviction, admitted on Friday in County Court to a rape at Darien Lake Theme Park in 2014.

Nicholas Brian Turnquist, who came into court in an orange Alleghany County Jail jumpsuit, accepted a plea offer that doesn't limit his potential prison sentence on the rape in the third-degree conviction but will allow him to serve the sentence at the same time he serves his sentence in federal prison.

A decade ago, Turnquist, who most recently lived in West Falls, reportedly engaged in sexual activity with a minor in multiple jurisdictions, including Genesee County, Wyoming County, Erie County, Pennsylvania and Canada.

He was indicted by a grand jury on counts of rape in the third degree, a Class E felony, and sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D violent felony, in connection with a crime in Darien on Aug. 23, 2014.  He was arrested locally in 2020 following an investigation by Howard Carlson of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

He was also charged with predatory sexual assault of a child and second-degree rape in Wyoming County.  That case went to trial, but the charges were dismissed halfway through the trial based on conflicting statements made by the victim during her testimony.  The statements related to the timeline of events, which had bearing on her age -- and hence the nature of the criminal charges under New York's penal code -- at the time of the rapes.

The course of rapes involving a single victim started in 2012, when the victim was 14, according to prosecutors, and continue for at least two more years.

Turnquist was sentenced in federal court in November following his conviction for transportation and attempted transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.  He will be on parole for 15 years following his federal prison term.

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