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LOCKPORT – Donald A. Lanasa, a Level 2 sex offender, was sentenced Wednesday to one to three years in prison for sending naked photos of himself to a person in an online chat room whom he thought was an underage girl. It turned out to be a police officer.

The crime, resulting in a Nov. 22 guilty plea to attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor, was part of what Lanasa thought was an online friendship that started in June 2012, Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said.

Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict said Lanasa, 48, of Welch Avenue, Niagara Falls, is learning-disabled and operates at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. “He’s more comfortable with younger people,” Benedict said. “When he talks to adults, he feels like he’s over his head.” Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas rejected Benedict’s request for a probation sentence, saying it would be “absolutely despicable to the law-abiding members of the community” to do so with a sex offender.

Lanasa is on the registry because of a 1998 conviction for molesting two girls he was baby-sitting in North Tonawanda.