Jordan R. Patterson of Lockport maintained his innocence of multiple rapes and other sex acts against two 14-year-olds as he was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in state prison.
Patterson, 24, was convicted in a jury trial in September 2018 of eight counts of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree criminal sex act and one misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stemmed from a series of sexual encounters he had with two 14-year-olds in 2016, when he was 21-years-old.
However, the jury could not reach a verdict on 10 additional counts of rape, predatory sexual assault and criminal sex acts, stemming from accusations that he raped an 18-year-old in September 2015 and a 14-year-old in January 2017.
Patterson was also accused of coerced sex acts with a 15-year-old in 2016, but that accuser declined to testify in the second trial.
Patterson refused to accept a plea offer on some of the remaining charges. In August, prosecutors dismissed remaining charges of rape and use of a child in a sexual performance, after the alleged victim declined to testify in a third trial and investigators could not find evidence of the alleged encounter on Patterson's old cell phone, respectively.
"I refuse to trade the truth for a lie," Patterson said. "I cannot stand here and say I did something I did not do."
Prior to sentencing, defense attorneys James Riotto and Lindsey Pieper submitted a motion to set aside or modify the verdict on several grounds, including that the defense had obtained new evidence that wasn't available during the trial and improper conduct by a juror.
Kloch said no new evidence has emerged, but acknowledged that he had learned of an apparent encounter between a juror and Patterson and his former defense attorney, Robert Fogg, which may have prompted Patterson to request a non-jury trial for his first trial in March 2018.
Kloch said Patterson commented, on the eve of his first trial, that he didn't want the "people in the parking lot determining his fate."
"Obviously something went on in the parking lot," Kloch said.
But Kloch said he declared a mistrial in the first trial partially out of concern Patterson may have been "under duress" when he requested a nonjury trial. Kloch also declared a mistrial because of concern surrounding his aunt, Alice Patterson, assisting in his defense.
Alice Patterson, a court attorney for the New York State Unified Court System in Buffalo, raised Jordan Patterson for years, and several of the alleged assaults took place in her former Franklin Avenue home.
Pieper also took issue with Fodd previously representing ne of Patterson's accusers in a misdemeanor case. The later conflict ultimately prompted Fogg's removal from Patterson's defense team. But as Kloch noted, the jury did not convict Patterson of any offenses involving that accuser.
Kloch dismissed Pieper's argument that Fogg didn't adequately question a witness, saying he found Fogg employed "withering cross-examination of every witness the (prosecution) presented."
Pieper also argued the court failed to make Patterson aware of his right to testify in his trials. Kloch said courts have no such requirement and suggested they appeal the matter until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. "You'd be setting legal precedence for every court in the country," he said.
After denying the defense motions, Kloch heard from the mother of one of the victims and the other victim herself.
The mother said her daughter was seeking counseling for the assaults and asked Kloch to give Patterson the maximum sentence. "What destroys us the most is the joy and happiness that used to be in her soul, and Jordan (Patterson) took that away," she said.
The victim said since the assaults, she has suffered nightmares and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. "I didn't know a teenager could have PTSD," she said.
Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Grundy commended the "incredibly strong women" for testifying in both trials. "It's what our justice system demands of victims, but it's by no means easy," Grundy said.
Kloch was not swayed by defense arguments for leniency because Patterson had no prior criminal record. "To me (the convictions) indicated a systematic abuse of young females," Kloch said.
Kloch sentenced Patterson to three years in prison for each of his 10 felony convictions, with a mix of consecutive and concurrent sentencing that totals 15 years in prison. After release, Patterson will face 10 years of post-release supervision and have to register as a sex offender.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Zucco said he felt Kloch's sentence "adequately" accounted for the number of victims and crimes. "This was not an isolated incident. It indicates a systematic approach to abuse these young women," he said.