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December 15, 2010 - 4:19pm

Charity rider given eight years in prison for sexual abuse

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Calling it a "terrible, terrible crime against little girls," Genesee County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan today sentenced one-time community fundraiser Gary Draper to two four-year consecutive state prison terms for sexually abusing three Batavia girls.

mug_gary_draper.jpgDraper previously pled guilty to two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree after being charged in July with three counts of sexual abuse, 1st, five counts of criminal sexual act, 1st, and two counts of sexual abuse, 2nd.

The crimes were committed between August 2008 and May 2009.

The mother of one of the victims spoke in court about how Draper took advantage of his friendship with the girls and how her daughter is now afraid of men.

"She lost all her trust and doesn’t understand why this happened to her," the mother said. "I want to let her know how brave she is to come forward for herself and her friends. She needs some closure. She needs to know that justice will be served for her."

Draper made a short statement saying, "I'd like to to say I didn’t intent that to happen and I don’t know why it happened and I can assure you it won't happen again. I'm very sorry."

Noonan said he didn't believe it wouldn't happen again.

"One thing that comes across loud and clear is that Mr. Draper does not understand the seriousness of the crimes he’s committed," Noonan said. "If anything, it punctuates it more strongly for him to stand here before me today and say he didn't mean this to happen. There is no other interpretation of the conduct of Mr. Draper than he intend it to happen for his own sexual gratification. And for that, the world deserves protection."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman asked for the maximum sentence, two consecutive seven-year terms.

Public defender Jerry Ader took issue with a Probation Department report that declined to support a probation-based sentence because Draper wouldn't submit to a full interview with probation officers. Ader said Draper gave a full interview to a qualified sexual behavior specialist and that Ader told Draper not to talk with probation, which probation acknowledged in its own report.

Ader asked for Draper to be released on probation, in part because of Draper's previous community work and his lack of any prior criminal record.

"He deserves a community sentence and I think he can succeed on a community sentence," Ader said.

Draper was known far and wide for his efforts to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, riding a three-wheel bike all over Genesee County and beyond to collect donations.

Over about a 15-year period, Draper raised more than $100,000 for ADA.

On Thanksgiving 2009, Draper's bike was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Center Street, and Draper suffered serious head and hip injuries. His bike was destroyed in the accident and later replaced by a group of local business leaders.

With eight years in prison and 10 years of supervised release after his terms, Noonan said that perhaps the 57-year-old Draper will be at an age that he's no longer a threat to the community.

Doug Yeomans
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The crimes were committed between August 2008 and May 2009. On Thanksgiving 2009, Draper's bike was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Center Street, and Draper suffered serious head and hip injuries. ---- Not that I'm much of a believer in such things but maybe this was karma coming to take a bite out of him, just not a big enough bite. With that being said, considering his severe head injuries, I wonder if he is now even able to understand what he did and how serious it is. Either way, we don't need to worry about him any more as karma will be coming for that larger bite in prison. I hope that each one of those girls can come to a realization that it was this man who hurt them and that all men are NOT the same. People who take advantage of the weak, naive, frail and infirm should be dealt with harshly. I think he should've gotten the max sentence simply because he took advantage of his position of trust. It made the crime all that much more heinous. What a scum bucket.
Lisa Falkowski
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I don't condone Mr. Draper's actions, but I appreciate all of his charitable contributions. Was his accident and subsequent injuries taken into consideration? Possible TBI? It seems that Mr. Draper may be less fortunate in intellect. Was this addressed? Again, I don't condone his actions, but for this man, prison is not the answer. I'm fearful that he won't make it out alive. Sometimes alternate means should be addressed, and in Mr. Draper's case, prison will only hurt him and not necessarily stop the cycle. I'm very sorry for the girls involved. This is going to affect those girls for the rest of their lives. I hope they and their families get the support they need to work through this. My heart goes out to them.
Sarah Malone
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Seriously..I don't understand why scum such as this don't get the maximum sentence!!!! I don't give a [email protected]%n how charitable any of his previous actions were; he's sick!!! There is no reasoning. There are no excuses. There is no rehabilitation. Lock him up FOR GOOD! Next time, can we PLEASE throw the book in ones face as hard as we can??!!!!!!
Tim Howe
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Lets hope he gets put in the general population with a sign around his neck telling WHY he is there, once the other cons find that out, then justice will be served.
Doug Yeomans
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Lisa? Are you serious? Quote: "Prison will only hurt him." Well, one can only hope! Have you ever met a woman who as a child was molested? I don't think you'd be so soft if you knew how traumatic it is (for life) for a woman or a man who that has happened to. Just what other alternate means would be warranted for dealing with him? Take away his tricycle and scold him? "You've been a bad, bad, boy! Now, you can have your tricycle back after you say 100 Hail Marys and perform a few hours of community service...oh, and have your knuckles rapped with a ruler..HARD!" You can't possibly feel that prison is the wrong punishment. Think about if it had been your daughter. After entrusting him to be alone with your daughter and then finding out he's not such a trustworthy or nice guy, I think you'd want him to go to prison to protect him....from YOU and your castration knife! He committed the acts of molestation BEFORE he had a head injury which is exactly why I quoted the time line of events. The only way I'd give a pass on prison time is if that head injury left him in a vegetative state, so debilitated that he's no longer a threat, or dead.
Michele Case
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Doug, perhaps Lisa thought as I initially did, that this person had an injury (TBI= traumatic brain injury) which may have caused him to act in an abnormal way or not be aware his actions weren't appropriate. Thanks for bringing attention to the fact that the injury occured after he commited those acts. Just sad that this man chose to do this in light of his good acts.
Lisa Falkowski
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Michele - thank you for your support. That was exactly where I was coming from. Doug - I didn't realize his accident was after the incidents had occurred. However, I still feel that this man has other issues that should have been considered. I've never indicated that his actions should be condoned. Oh, and yes, I do know someone this has happened to, and fully understand the ramifications of one's life after experiencing such a terrible violation. You shouldn't judge me without knowing. Just ask. I respect your opinion, but don't appreciate you lashing out at me. I didn't lash out at you. I don't even know you! Maybe you'd consider being more open minded to the fact that not everyone has your opinion. You don't have to agree, but we are all entitled to have one.
Julie Morales
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Lisa, you expressed yourself with maturity and intelligence, which will be disregarded by those consumed by irrational rage. Mr. Yeomans, I don’t know any sexual abuse survivors who are bloodthirsty or full of hate. If you do, please suggest they get therapy. Also, please don’t write “Quote” when you are improperly yanking others’ words out of context to attempt to strengthen your own point.
Angela Penkszyk
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Lisa, if we were to allow "other issues" or "less fortunate in intellect" as a defense to these kinds of actions, every one of these POS' would get away with it. Is that what is best? The streets full of these sexual predators with "other issues" ... I mean if we can't send them to prison, where do you suggest they go? Do you have extra bedrooms at your house? Remember that POS that killed poor baby Andrew Cianfrini? Her lawyer pulled the "she's dumb" defense and she ultimately got away with murder, charged with only manslaughter instead. Is that a fair decision to you? Interestingly enough, she was (allegedly) a VICTIM of sexual abuse as a child. So now where do the pieces fall? "Ohh... I can see that you're lacking in normal intelligence so you must not have known that touching all those little girls was wrong. Well, we'll give you only probation/house arrest/whatever and hopefully you can use that freedom to get smart so this won't happen again." Come on. Get real. BTW, what makes you think he is "less fortunate in intellect" anyway? Are you judging a book by it's cover?
Angela Penkszyk
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Very well said, Doug, Sarah & Tim :) Doug, It could be karma... or it could have been a very angry parent.
Angela Penkszyk
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Julie - I can't help but see that you are doing exactly what you condemned Doug for. He in no way said that former victims are bloodthirsty or full of hate, you did.
Lisa Falkowski
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Angela - I did not judge a book by it's cover. Did you see a problem with the cover? I didn't. I don't know him well, but yes, I have known this man for many years. You and I don't see eye to eye on this subject, but Angela I realize that people have differences of opinion, and that's ok. I'm sorry you don't see it that way. About people who abuse that have been abused .. their unfortunate history should not free them from their crimes. It starts with education, therapy, rehabilitation. Yes, and many times, incarceration. Again, I don't condone such actions, but a bullet between the eyes does so little.
Doug Yeomans
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Lisa, I never lashed out at you. I asked you what other alternative means of dealing with him would you suggest. Julie, I quoted Lisa verbatim and now I'll quote you. Quote: Julie Morales "I don’t know any sexual abuse survivors who are bloodthirsty or full of hate. If you do, please suggest they get therapy." When did I suggest that any of them were full of hate or were blood thirsty? Michelle, It really is sad that he did commit those molestations despite his good deeds for the community. I think the fact that he used his good deeds as a means of gaining trust and then betraying everyone makes his crimes all the more heinous. That's why I say he should've gotten the max sentence. Angela, HAHA I never thought of that twist! Angry parent sees man that molested their child riding his trike along the roadway, opportunity presents itself and OOPS..."I never saw him until he and his trike were flying through the air!" On the issue of rehabilitation, anyone forced into rehabilitation as part of a sentencing will almost certainly fail. Rehabilitation of any kind only works when a person seeks it out independently and has a desire to change their self. People forced into it have no desire to change. Lisa, sometimes a bullet between the eyes is exactly what's called for.
Kyle Couchman
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When did you suggest any survivors were bloddthirsty for revenge Doug.... Lets observe in your original post: Lisa? Are you serious? Quote: "Prison will only hurt him." Well, one can only hope! as well as this quote... from the original: Think about if it had been your daughter. After entrusting him to be alone with your daughter and then finding out he's not such a trustworthy or nice guy, I think you'd want him to go to prison to protect him....from YOU and your castration knife! Then in the post just above mine now in response to Lisa and Julia you say in closing.... Lisa, sometimes a bullet between the eyes is exactly what's called for. Now I agree with you about forced rehab however there is always hope that the forced rehab might kindle a desire to rehabilitate by forcing them to deal with it rather than deny and forget. Not always the case but its better than nothing. But as far as your indicating the bloodthirstyness of survivor ( or those who obviously have talked to survivors )Well if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and smells like a duck, it's more than likely it is a duck.

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