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Rape charges lead to prison sentence for Canandaigua resident

Canandaigua man provided illegal substances to 15-year-old victims

By Aaron Curtis [email protected]

CANANDAIGUA A Canandaigua man charged late last year with rape after having sex with a pair of high school freshmen was sentenced in Ontario County Court on Wednesday to serve two years in prison followed by 10 years of post-release supervision. The sentence was handed down to Robert Ryan III, 22, who, as part of a plea deal with the county District Attorney s Office, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree rape, a class E felony, for having sex with the two 15-year-old girls. As part of the plea bargain, Ryan admitted to the sexual contact with the teens, to whom he gave alcohol during the course of the criminal acts. Ryan also gave cocaine to one of the youths.

Judge William Kocher had the option to give Ryan a sentence that included treatment, as well as six months in the Ontario County Jail and 10 years of post-release supervision. The maximum sentence included four years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision. Ontario County Assistant District Attorney Jason MacBride requested the judge give Ryan a prison term, but he did not specify a length of time. Meanwhile, the Ontario County Probation Department recommended the judge choose the lesser sentence option, which was also requested by Ryan s defense attorney Robert King.

The defense attorney argued for the request, first by acknowledging the severity of the charges. It is a crime that King said has led to life-long consequences for the victims.

The question is when is enough, enough? King added. King pointed out that the crime has also had a detrimental impact on Ryan s life, including the damage that comes with registering as a sex offender. King added that a prison sentence without treatment used to target what led to his sex offense would only harden Ryan and make him more likely to reoffend. Despite the defense attorney s request, Kocher opted for a prison sentence for the 22-year-old a decision that the judge said he lost sleep over.

There s got to be some sanction for this kind of conduct, Kocher said. Not only for the victims, but also for the community at large.

Ryan was initially arrested by Canandaigua police officers last November after it was discovered that he provided cocaine and alcohol to a 15-year-old girl and then had sex with the youth. Ryan was charged with first-degree rape and placed behind bars at the Ontario County Jail. As the investigation continued, Ryan was again charged with first-degree rape the following month in connection with his sexual contact with another 15-year-old girl.

According to police, this incident did not involve cocaine, but Ryan did provide this teen with alcohol before having sex with her. Both incidents took place at Ryan s North Pearl Street home in Canandaigua, police said. The charge of first-degree rape, which suggests force was used by Ryan, was later reduced to third-degree rape. According to King, an investigation by his office established that the sex contact between Ryan and the minors was consensual.

King expressed gratitude toward the District Attorney s Office for agreeing to lower the charge, pointing out that the first-degree rape charge includes a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 years behind prison walls. Before the sentence was made official on Wednesday, MacBride arguing for a prison term for Ryan pointed out that the defendant had met the victims through his younger sister.

Clearly, a 21-year-old who is in the workforce and is graduated from college there s no reason for someone with that stature to be spending any time with a freshman in high school, the prosecutor told Kocher. MacBride said that the two victims are suffering from the sexual contact with Ryan, including being brutalized at school.

When I say bullying, that s probably a very large understatement, the prosecutor said.

He added that the parents of the victims have also been the target of bullying by other parents who have allegedly approached them in public to denigrate their daughters.

This is not something that can be turned on or turned off, MacBride said. This is something that they are going to have to deal with for a very long time. MacBride also referenced Ryan s criminal history, including a driving while intoxicated charge and an incident last August during a Train concert at the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, or CMAC. According to Ontario County sheriff s deputies, Ryan was charged with multiple misdemeanors after allegedly biting a security guard in the leg and hitting another in the arm during a struggle as they tried to remove him from the concert. MacBride also took the time to reference many redeeming qualities that Ryan possesses, which the prosecutor said he learned from the review of court documents. MacBride also pointed out that Ryan has acknowledged his wrongs and has had ample family support throughout the matter.

A few of those family members appeared in courtroom gallery on Wednesday. After Ryan s sentence was made official, those family members denied an opportunity to speak when exiting the courthouse.

King, who did take the time to discuss the case, said that Ryan is a well-respected individual in the community an athlete and a solid student.

This incident does not define all of what he is, King said.

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