Modified: November 13, 2014 4:20pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 49 year-old William Payne of 41 Humber Ave. in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Rape in the Third Degree before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case. This is the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Payne did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
On September 30, 2012, Payne sexually assaulted his own daughter after she fell asleep on the living room couch. Payne steadfastly denied having sexual relations with his daughter when questioned by the police. DNA analysis revealing the presence of Payne’s sperm in the rape kit obviously proved otherwise.
A trial was initially scheduled for April of this year. During jury selection, an Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case reported that she saw Payne drive by her in a manner suggesting that he was attempting to intimidate her. The court was immediately advised of these allegations, declared a mistrial, revoked Payne’s bail, and remanded him into custody pending an investigation to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute him for the alleged encounter with the prosecutor. Payne was released one week later when the investigation revealed Payne did not attempt to intimidate the prosecutor or commit any additional crimes. Nor was he ever charged with intimidation or any additional crimes.
Despite the fact that he was never charged with additional crimes and is now a convicted rapist, Payne has filed a Notice of Claim, indicating that he intends to sue Erie County for the damage done to his good reputation.
Payne faces up to four years in state prison when he is sentenced on
January 21, 2015 by Judge Case.
The case was prosecuted by Rosanne Johnson, Chief of DA Sedita’s Special Victim’s Bureau, as well as Assistant District Attorneys Kristi Ahlstrom and Liam Dwyer.