David Rath, 39 of Buffalo, will serve 50 years to life in prison after sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 2015. In Februrary, a jury found Rath guilty of three counts of three counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, two counts of attempted rape in the first degree and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio told Rath after assaulting the young girl, he showed he was "a 37-year-old adult loser". Judge DiTullio said she had received several letters from members of the public asking for Rath to be kept off the streets.
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The attack happened on May 24, 2015. Rath brought the girl to a storage facility on Dingens Street in Buffalo where he gave her beer and cocaine. The Buffalo man assaulting the girl for more than an hour and at one point, when she told him to stop, Rath punched her in the face and continued his assault.
Prosecutors say the girl's testimony was instrumental in getting the jury to find Rath guilty.
"The most important thing to remember is that this defendant was found guilty because a brave little girl found the courage to decide that she was not going to be a victim. She was going to be a survivor," Assistant District Attorney Ryan Haggerty said.
Many involved in the case were captivated by the courage shown by the 10-year-old girl when she testified in the trial.
"The 10-year-old girl came out of this situation as a person with strength and courage and guts," Judge DiTullio said. "A very special 10-year-old."
"For being as strong as she was and having to go through this thing twice," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said. "For that I'm amazed at her strength."
"Where this defendant showed us the worst in humanity, his victim showed us the best," Haggerty said. "With courage and bravery most adults do not possess, she walked into a courtroom full of strangers to confront this defendant."