Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

September 19, 2013

Man denies rape

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A Gasport man will return to Niagara County Court next month, after pleading not guilty Wednesday to an assortment of charges — including rape and assault — stemming from a domestic violence incident.

Justin West, 32, has been charged with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of assault and two counts of first degree sexual abuse. Assistant Niagara County District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said West was arrested Aug. 23.

West remains in Niagara County Jail on $50,000 bail, after County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III denied Baehre’s request to increase it to $250,000. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Oct. 23 and a tentative trial date is set for Feb. 3.

Baehre told Murphy the reason she requested an increase in bail is because of West’s alleged “long domestic violence history.” There are pictures of injuries the victims suffered, as well as pictures of holes in a wall made reportedly by West smashing the victim’s head through it.

• In another Niagara County Court case, Judge Sara S. Farkas put a Town of Lockport man on probation so he could continue mental health treatment.

David B. Tomporowski, 31, Birchwood Drive, was originally charged with burglarizing a Kenyon’s Variety store last year on Robinson Road. Farkas gave him five years of probation so he could continue with treatment, which is working, he said.

“The process has changed my life,” Tomporowski said in court.

• A Texas man appeared before Farkas Wednesday on a warrant that has been outstanding for almost 13 years.

Nahshon T. Hughes, 33, of Killeen, Texas, was taken to Niagara County Jail on Monday. According to Baehre, an warrant was out for his arrest since May 2000 when Hughes failed to show up for sentencing. The court did not have much information on Hughes, so Farkas scheduled a status report hearing for Oct. 2.

Hughes was given six-month interim probation in 2000 for a felony but left for Texas to help a family member, attorney Michael Benedict said. Hughes remains in county jail on $5,000 bail.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241, or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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