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Nicholas A. Persico, of Buffalo, was given an opportunity to avoid prison Tuesday for trying to pay for sex with a child at a Pendleton hotel April 12, 2018.

Persico, 42, Pennsylvania Street, thought he had arranged to pay a man $100 to have sex with a 12-year-old girl at Hampton Inn, on S. Transit Road, April 12, 2018. But when Persico came to the hotel, he learned the man he had messaged online, who purported to be the girl's father, was actually an undercover agent working with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III placed Persico on one year of interim probation.

Persico could still face up to four years in prison for his convictions of attempted second-degree rape and second-degree patronizing a person for prostitution. He will return before Murphy Aug. 3, 2020 for sentencing.