Wright pleads guilty to criminal sex acts

Christopher M. Wright

A Pendleton man facing numerous sex charges involving minors accepted a plea deal Thursday that spared him a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Christopher M. Wright, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree attempted criminal sex act and one count of second-degree criminal act.

On Oct. 13, Wright was charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of second-degree criminal sex act  and six counts of second-degree sexual abuse. Less than a week later, he was hit with more charges, including two counts of second-degree criminal sex act and four counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

At the time, Wright was awaiting sentencing on a charge of second-degree sexual abuse, to which he pleaded guilty this past February. Wright was arrested on that charge Dec. 1, 2016, after briefly taking flight from police and prompting a lockdown at Starpoint schools. 

After his guilty plea, in late May, Wright was placed on interim probation and was scheduled for sentencing Nov. 15. 

Before his sentencing arrived, police learned Wright had engaged in sex acts with a child younger than 13 years old in the spring of 2016, and engaged in sex acts with a child younger than 15 years old the following fall.

Assistant District Attorney Holly Sloma said Wright could have been charged with predatory sexual assault against a child, a class-A felony that carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

Wright faces 12 to 16 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 1 by Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy.