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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Schenectady Resident Receives 25-to-Life Sentence for Predatory Sexual Assault


SCHENECTADY — A local man from ‌Schenectady, with a history of sexual crime convictions, was handed ​a 25 years-to-life prison sentence on⁤ Tuesday for his most recent assault on an 18-year-old woman.

Arthur Pryor, aged 48,​ was found guilty of predatory sexual assault in November, after he‍ forced an 18-year-old into oral sexual contact.

“You pose a threat to society,” stated Judge Catherine Leahy-Scott, a‍ claims​ court judge‌ who oversaw ‌the case as a guest judge in Schenectady County.

In addition to the sentence, she⁢ issued a 100-year restraining order for the victim and detailed Pryor’s ⁤criminal past, which spans three ‍decades and includes ⁢multiple felony convictions.

“In ‌2010, you were found guilty ‌of ​a Class B ‍felony,” Leahy-Scott noted. “You⁤ sexually assaulted a woman,​ and⁤ while on⁣ parole ⁤for ‍that horrific crime, you⁢ committed another appalling act⁣ against an 18-year-old.”

The assault took place ‌in an Albany Street residence, which functioned as a boarding house where both Pryor and the victim resided. ⁣The jury concluded that ‍Pryor entered the victim’s room without her permission, forcibly undressed her‍ and physically overpowered her, despite her attempts to resist.

Assistant⁣ District Attorney Maria Apruzzese, from the ⁣Special Victims Unit, also highlighted Pryor’s criminal⁤ history.

“His​ criminal‌ activities never ceased,” Apruzzese stated.

Apruzzese ⁢pointed out that​ Pryor has a ⁣history of parole ⁢violations following⁣ his 12-year sentence for a previous sexual assault conviction in​ Kings County, as well⁣ as drug-related issues.‍ He is currently ⁢facing charges ⁢for attempting⁢ to sell drugs.

The defendant waited for the victim to return home after a night out drinking and‌ used his physical advantage to overpower her, Apruzzese added.

“The victim was profoundly ⁣impacted by that night,” Apruzzese said.

After the ⁤assault, the victim was⁣ unable to return to ​her⁤ home, Apruzzese noted, and ‍she struggled to hold ‍back tears while testifying during the trial.

Pryor’s ⁣lawyer, John‌ Della Ratta, ​from ⁣the ​Schenectady County Public Defender’s Office, reiterated a​ defense he presented during the⁣ trial, claiming that‌ Pryor ceased the attack when the⁢ victim asked‌ him to stop. The defense also argued that the incident occurred within a brief period — approximately or less than a minute.

“This was not a prolonged, ‍torturous event,” Della​ Ratta stated.

He argued that his client’s testimony during the trial was clear — he stopped when he was asked to.

“If he was the monster that the District Attorney is portraying him​ as, he would have continued ‍— ‍but he stopped,” Della Ratta ⁤said.

Leahy-Scott countered that ‍the duration of the assault, ⁢whether it was ‍one minute or one second, was irrelevant because he “harmed the victim.” She noted that Pryor​ showed no ⁢remorse for his actions and continuously tried⁣ to blame ⁢the victim,‍ a petite 18-year-old woman who‌ he overpowered.

The victim underwent a‌ Sexual Assault Examination ⁤at Ellis Hospital shortly after the attack.‌ Forensic⁤ evidence collected during the ⁣exam was sent to⁤ the New York State Forensic⁣ Investigation Center for DNA testing. The DNA results suggested a ⁤possible match with the defendant from his‍ previous conviction. Pryor later denied ⁤any sexual contact with the victim during‍ a police interview.

The defense argued during the trial that the ​parties engaged in consensual oral sexual conduct, ‌a claim the jury​ dismissed based on the​ evidence presented. This included testimony from ‍the victim and her⁢ family, as well⁢ as medical records and DNA results that supported the victim’s testimony.

Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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