PLATTSBURGH — A Plattsburgh man was found guilty Thursday morning of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl.
William Lancaster, 54, was found guilty in Clinton County Supreme Court, Integrated Domestic Violence Part, of first-degree criminal sex act, a violent felony, and first-degree attempted criminal sex act, a violent felony.
He was also found guilty of two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
Judge Timothy Lawliss sent Lancaster to Clinton County Jail without bail to await sentencing on Aug. 27. He faces up to 40 years in state prison.
The trial started with jury selection July 16. Prosecution witnesses included the victim, law-enforcement personnel and a member of the victim’s family. Closing arguments began July 18, and the jury began deliberations shortly after.
The case was prosecuted by Clinton County Assistant District Attorneys Domenica Padula and Jaime Douthat. Attorney Allan Cruikshank represented the defendant.
District Attorney Andrew Wylie welcomed the verdict.
“It is always hard for victims to find the courage to take the stand and tell a courtroom of strangers what happened to them, but it takes a special kind of bravery for a child to do it,” he said in a statement.
“The victim in this case showed a tremendous amount of courage throughout this entire process, and without her there would have been no justice for her or this community. Holding defendants accountable for these heinous crimes helps to ensure the safety of everyone. My office will continue to aggressively pursue the prosecution of crimes committed against children.”
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