Two Niagara Falls men, both registered sex offenders, were sentenced for additional sex crimes last week in Niagara County Court.
Richard S. Ribis, 40, of Ontario Avenue, was sent to prison for three years by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza after pleading guilty to attempted second-degree rape and possession of a sexual performance by a child. A Level 1 sex offender because of a prior misdemeanor, Ribis had sex with an underage girl in the late spring or early summer of 2008, and was found to have downloaded child pornography onto his girlfriend's computer.
In a separate case, Judge Matthew Murphy III placed Mark M. Miles, 28, of 19th Street, on interim probation for a year pending a final sentencing decision. Miles, a Level 3 sex offender because of a 2002 child molestation conviction, had pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct for an incident with an underage girl in September 2009.
We mention Ribis and Miles only because, back in 2008, when as many as 25 convicted sexual predators were found to be living within 1,000 feet of Niagara Street School, we were assured by then-state assemblywoman Francine Del Monte, Mayor Paul Dyster and state parole officials that the men posed no threat to the community.
Over and over, they told us that the perverts were well monitored under the state's civil confinement law, a law that Del Monte herself had sponsored. Further, our elected officials said, many of the offenders had merely committed their crimes against girlfriends or family members, and weren't likely to act out in a similar fashion with strangers.
The cases of Ribis and Miles give lie to those assurances. The truth is that there is a higher rate of recidivism among sex offenders than there is in any other criminal category. Each of these dirtbags is a ticking time bomb, welcomed with open arms into our city by Del Monte -- who sponsored a watered-down version of a tough civil confinement law championed by state Sen. George Maziarz -- and Dyster, who joked about his constituents' concerns.
Make no mistake, the children who were victimized by Ribis and Miles were no less victimized by a system set up by Del Monte and endorsed enthusiastically by Dyster.
|Niagara Falls Reporter||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||April 19, 2011|