Local pediatric dentist takes a plea deal

Louis Surace

A Lockport-based pediatric dentist is looking at up to 5 years behind bars after pleading guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing a young girl.

Dr. Louis Surace, 58, took a plea deal from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a criminal complaint that charged him with attempted first-degree criminal sex act. The charge carries a potential prison sentence of 3-1/2 to 15 years and up to 20 years of post-release supervision.

But state Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. agreed to cap Surace's sentence at no more than 5 years and set his post release term at between five and 15 years. Surace is due to return to court for sentencing on Nov. 30 and remains free on $20,000 bail.

Surace had originally faced charges of first-, second- and third-degree sexual abuse and a count of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stemmed from a New York State Police investigation.

Troopers said they received a tip from Niagara County Child Protective Services workers that Surace had what was described as "unwanted sexual contact against a child younger than 17 years old" between 2013 and December 2018.

Prosecutors said the crime that Surace pleaded guilty to occurred on an undisclosed date in May or June 2017.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Surace had more than one victim. Surace had operated a pediatric dentistry practice on Professional Parkway.

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