BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A teenager will be in court Wednesday, to find out his punishment for raping three women.
Dionte Cooper, 16, terrorized Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood over the summer. Everyone was on edge as police tried to identify a suspect.
Cooper pleaded guilty in June to three counts of first-degree rape. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said Cooper attacked women on June 29th, July 2nd and July 5th after they had left area nightclubs.
Buffalo police first arrested Cooper shortly after the July 5th attack, where Cooper is accused of forcing a woman into an alley and sexually assaulting her. Sedita said Cooper stole a cellphone from this victim and they found him using cell phone-tracking technology.
Forensic DNA analysis also helped prove Cooper was the attacker.
After the arrest we asked local women if they felt safer now that Cooper is off the streets.
Lydia Beinhauer explained, “I’m more comfortable… I’m more comforted knowing he’s behind bars and I’m safe.”
Molly Krauza said, “I guess it makes me feel a little safer but at the same time there’s lots of other people I’m sure are capable of the same thing, so it’s important to always be on your guard and not just let it down because one man is put away. If anything it should teach us all to be a little more safe.”
The charges that Cooper pleaded guilty to could mean a prison sentence of up to 25 years each. However, Erie County Judge Kenneth Case indicated he would impose a prison term of no more than 21 years.
The judge also said Cooper is eligible for youthful offender status, but he will not grant him that because of the severity of the charges.