ADVERTISEMENT

LOCKPORT – A Mexican citizen is expected to avoid deportation despite being sentenced Wednesday to a year in Niagara County Jail on a plea bargain in a sex case.

Martimiano Vazquez-Santiago, 33, of Locust Street, Lockport, who has lived in the U.S. for 13 years, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of endangering the welfare of a child after originally being charged with statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl in Somerset twice in the fall of 2011.

“I apologize for what I did when I was with the girl. I thought she was an adult,” Vazquez-Santiago said through an interpreter.

Defense attorney Dominic Saraceno said he thought his client’s confession to State Police that he had sex with the girl resulted from confusion caused by the language barrier, but County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said he believes the admission was true. “I think the people have shown mercy to the defendant by allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor,” the judge said.