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.
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.
“It was his selfish, despicable, disgusting action,” Donatello said. “To blame this on alcohol is offensive to alcoholics everywhere.”
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.
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.
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.
Murphy received letters of support from McNew’s family, but it did not sway the judge.
McNew declined a chance to speak in court.