Modified: March 3, 2016 11:01am
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 28-year old Michael Sanchez of Buffalo was sentenced to 25 years in state prison and 25 years post-release supervision by Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.
In November 2015, Sanchez pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with Rape in the First Degree, two counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree and Robbery in the Third Degree. These were the highest charges for which Sanchez could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
On February 22, 2015 at approximately 4:45 a.m., Sanchez entered the 7-Eleven store at Niagara and Hertel in Buffalo and robbed the 20-year old store clerk of cash and cigarettes. Fearing that Sanchez had a gun, the clerk handed over her personal cash ($45) and the contents of the register. The robbery was captured on the store’s surveillance video.
After the robbery, Sanchez demanded the clerk come with him. The clerk managed to push the store’s panic button before Sanchez grabbed her and pulled her into a back office where he forcibly raped and sodomized her. As Sanchez was making his escape, a Buffalo News deliveryman came into the store. The victim yelled for the deliveryman to lock the door while she called 911.
Buffalo Police arrived within a few minutes and observed Sanchez less than a block from the store. Officers gave chase, tackled Sanchez in a snowbank and recovered the proceeds of the robbery (cash and cigarettes). Sanchez was promptly returned to the 7-Eleven where he was positively identified by the store clerk and the Buffalo News deliveryman. DNA from the victim’s rape kit matched DNA provided by Sanchez.
Acting DA Flaherty praised the work of SANE Nurse, Julie Kaplewicz of Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo Police Department Sex Offense Detective Natalie Perez, Buffalo Police Officers Christopher Schaeffer, Marquest Castillo, Nicholas Militello, Michael Maritato, Lt. Mary Hanley and CPS Forensic Biologist Michelle Lillie. Special Victims Bureau Chief Rosanne E. Johnson successfully prosecuted the case.