Modified: October 22, 2014 1:40pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 16 year- old Dionte Cooper of 353 Porter Avenue, Buffalo, pleaded, as charged to three counts of Rape in the First Degree before Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case. These were the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Cooper did not receive a plea bargain and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Cooper admitted to sexually assaulting three different women, over a one-week period in late June and early July, shortly after they left nightclubs in Buffalo’s Elmwood-Allentown neighborhood. Cooper, who had been the subject of a prior Family Court PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) order, raped his first victim just three days after he ran away the from Baker Victory Home. Cell phone tracking technology (Cooper stole a cell phone from one of his victim’s) and forensic DNA analysis performed by the Erie County Central Services Laboratory were vital in capturing the defendant and proving he was the assailant, in an intense investigation spearheaded by Buffalo Police Department Sex Offense Squad Detectives Natalie Perez, Mark Costantino, and Kim Tomassi.
Cooper faces a maximum prison sentence of up to seventy-five years in state prison when he is sentenced on November 12, 2014 by Judge Case.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lynette Reda, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Special Victims Bureau. DA Sedita added, “the execrable crimes of this sexual predator, committed while under the so-called ‘supervision’ of the juvenile justice system, again illustrates the danger of raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York.”