Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, unanimously affirmed the conviction of 27 year-old Paul Imes.
Imes was convicted, as charged, before Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski after a trial, of Rape in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree and Unlawfully Fleeing A Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree. He was subsequently sentenced to 12 years imprisonment followed by 20 years of post-release supervision.
On October 12, 2008, Imes chased the victim down as she tried to run away from him, dragged her to a deserted industrial building, threw her under a loading dock, and forcibly raped her. After the attack, the victim flagged down a police car and pointed out the area where she had been raped. Buffalo police officer Michael Ross gave chase after he observed a man run into a white Cadillac and flee the scene. Imes then led a small army of police officers (approximately 40) on a pursuit throughout residential neighborhoods in the city of Buffalo, at speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour. The chase ended when the defendant’s vehicle crashed after losing one of its tires.
The case was successfully prosecuted at the trial court level by ADA Peter Marche, while the conviction was successfully defended at the appellate court level by ADA David Panepinto.