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LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls 18-year-old is likely to be granted youthful offender status for his guilty plea to molesting a 12-year-old girl, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said from the bench Monday.

Kloch said if he changes his mind about the boy before his sentencing May 1, the Niagara Street resident will be given a chance to withdraw his guilty plea to second-degree criminal sexual act in connection with a June 30 incident in the Falls.

Even if Kloch sticks with his youthful offender decision, the boy could be sentenced to as long as four years in prison. An adult pleading guilty to the same crime would face a seven-year sentence.