A Lockport child molester caught a break from the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court Friday, as it reduced his prison sentence from seven years to four years.

Timothy R. Sisler, 47, complained after Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas sentenced him in July 2009. The judge had said when Sisler pleaded guilty in May 2009 that she would probably sentence him to six months in jail and 10 years’ probation.

Sisler pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse for fondling a 9-year-old girl over her clothing in the fall of 2006. At the time, Farkas said probation “seemed like a reasonable sentence for that conduct.” But two months later, she hit Sisler with the maximum sentence without explaining why. The unanimous appellate panel said Farkas should have given Sisler a chance to withdraw his guilty plea and that seven years was “unduly harsh and severe under the circumstances of this case.”

Thus, Sisler, who would not have been eligible for parole until July 2015, could be released in early 2013.