Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 10, 2012

McNew gets nine years for sexual abuse

By Joe Olenick
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

TOWN OF LOCKPORT — In the end, it was Shawn McNew who was responsible.

McNew, 40, Fernwood Drive, Town of Lockport, was sentenced Monday to nine years in state prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl last September. McNew was also sentenced to 15 years of post release supervision and will have to register  as a sex offender.

McNew pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree criminal sexual act in February.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Donatello asked Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy for the maximum sentence of 15   years behind bars. Not once throughout the court proceedings, did McNew ever take responsibility for his actions, she said.

Instead, McNew blamed everything and everyone else for what happened, Donatello said. On the night of the attack, McNew blamed   it on things such as him and the child being drunk.

“It was his selfish, despicable, disgusting action,” Donatello said. “To blame this on alcohol is offensive to alcoholics   everywhere.”

Donatello said there was video of McNew and the child buying alcohol. DNA from both the victim and McNew was found on a pair   of handcuffs used in the assault, while blood from the victim was found in McNew’s bed.

McNew’s also tried to blame his first lawyer, David E. Blackley. McNew filed a motion in April to withdraw his guilty plea,  claiming he was confused and felt rushed to accept the offer. McNew’s new attorney, Angelo Musitano, said last month McNew   left Niagara County Court on Feb. 9 under the impression he was heading to trial, which would have began Feb. 27. McNew took   the deal because he thought his children would be arrested for trying to bribe and coerce the victim, Musitano said in June.

Murphy called the filing, “buyer’s remorse” and denied McNew’s request. Donatello said McNew had been facing over 20 years   in prison, meaning Blackley had been effective.

Prior to McNew’s sentencing, the victim spoke in court about how the incident with McNew had affected her. The victim said   she battled depression and suicidal thoughts, it even caused rifts in some personal relationships. Isolation and poor grades   followed.

“(He) has ripped my life apart,” the victim said. “It makes me sick.”

Still, the victim said she did not want McNew to spend his life in prison. Some time would be good for him, the victim said,   but she wanted McNew to get help for his anger and alcohol issues.

Both Donatello and Murphy said the victim had been consistent with the events that took place that night. Evidence also backed   up her story, Donatello said. 

Murphy received letters of support from McNew’s family, but it did not sway the judge.

“In my opinion, a jury would have believed you,” Murphy told the victim. “I believe you.”

McNew declined a chance to speak in court.