PLATTSBURGH — William Lancaster, found guilty by a jury on July 19 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
That sentence, for first-degree criminal sex act, a violent felony, includes 10 years post-release supervision.
Clinton County Supreme Court Judge Timothy Lawliss also sentenced the Plattsburgh man, 54, to 15 years in state prison with 10 years post-release supervision for first-degree attempted criminal sex act, also a violent felony. The sentences will run concurrent.
And Lancaster will also serve one year in jail on each of two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors. These sentences will run concurrent as well.
Lancaster was originally charged with second-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault, but the jury did not find him guilty of those charges, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wiley said on Monday.
During the sentencing, Lancaster’s victim read from a letter she wrote about how the abuse she suffered, which occurred last year, has changed her life.
“After you (Lancaster) came into my life and the abuse started, everything changed. You were the adult in my life, and I trusted you. Now I am full of fear and betrayal. You took things away from me I can never get back. You treated me so bad and made me feel terrible about myself.”
Wiley commended the victim for the courage she displayed.
“The strength and poise that this victim has shown throughout this case has been inspiring,” he said in a statement. “Given all that she has been through, she continues to prove that while her abuser hurt her deeply, he could never take away the light inside of her that continues to shine brightly and bravely.
“These are difficult cases to investigate and prosecute,” the DA continued, “and I commend Assistant District Attorney Domenica Padula and Assistant District Attorney Jaime Douthat for their dedication and commitment to the most vulnerable victims in our community.”