LOCKPORT – Diane G. Turley, the wife of a man who fled the area during his trial for molesting two girls, was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail for hindering prosecution.
Turley, 51, of Cassadaga, was sentenced by Lockport City Judge William J. Watson for her role in the flight of Paul S. Turley, who was convicted in absentia of molesting his stepdaughter and stepniece from 1996 to 1998 in North Tonawanda. They went to police with their assertions in late 2011.
The women, now 22, permitted themselves to be identified in media reports in hopes of encouraging other victims of long-ago sexual abuse to come forward and report their cases to police.
Paul Turley, 48, was captured along with his wife Feb. 21 in a trailer park outside Tucson, Ariz.
Paul Turley left the Niagara County Courthouse after jury selection for his trial was completed Jan. 23. The verdict came down five days later.
On May 10, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas sentenced Paul Turley to 15 to 30 years behind bars. He is still in the Niagara County Jail, awaiting transfer to a state prison.
Watson was scheduled to sentence Diane Turley July 3, but the case was postponed a week after defense attorney Mark A. Danna of the county conflict defender’s office belatedly presented the judge with letters from friends and relatives, attesting to the woman’s good character.
“The judge didn’t buy it,” Danna said.
Watson could have sentenced Diane Turley to as long as a year in jail, but he also could have given her probation.
“By helping her husband flee the jurisdiction, those girls lost an opportunity to confront him,” Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Nichols told Watson during the July 3 court appearance.
After the sentencing, Diane Turley’s mother, a diabetic, fainted outside the courtroom. Danna said he caught the woman to keep her from falling to the floor. An ambulance was called, but the elderly woman was revived and was not transported by the ambulance.