Demian P. Hernandez, of Niagara Falls, will spend the next four years in prison for four felony convictions, including rape, cocaine possession and drunk driving.
Hernandez, 31, of Michigan Avenue, raped a Falls woman at her home Aug. 22, 2018. At the time, Hernandez had several pending felony cases, including drug charges from an April 30, 2018 traffic stop in which Falls police found him with cocaine.
Falls police also stopped Hernandez Feb. 23, 2018 and charged him with driving while intoxicated. That charge was elevated to a felony due to Hernandez's prior drunk driving convictions.
Hernandez was convicted of felony DWI March 18, 2015, following prior misdemeanor DWI convictions in March 2007 and August 2009. Drunken driving becomes a felony if the offender has a misdemeanor DWI conviction within the previous 10 years. Niagara County Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch, Sr. sentenced Hernandez to five years of probation, which Hernandez violated with his new arrests.
Hernandez pleaded guilty to felony DWI April 19, 2018, to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance Dec. 26 and to third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sex act May 17.
Kloch on Thursday sentenced Hernandez to one to three years in prison for violating probation, 1 1/3 to four years for the new felony DWI conviction, four years for the drug charge, four years for third-degree rape and one year for third-degree criminal sex act. Hernandez will serve each of those sentences concurrently, and will also undergo 15 years of post-release supervision.
Hernandez and his defense attorney, Robert Viola, said alcohol was the driving force behind each of his crimes.
"There's a common thread running through these matters, and that is alcohol," Viola said.
"Every time I mess up in my life, it's alcohol-related," Hernandez said.
Hernandez also pledged to seek treatment for his alcoholism and remain sober.