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Man faces 22 years to life in prison for sexual assault

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Posted at 5:14 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 17:14:59-05

It took a jury less than two hours Tuesday to convict a Buffalo man for his sexual assault of a woman in August 2014.

According to District Attorney Michael Flaherty, Willie Sanders, 58, was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison. He was convicted of one count of predatory sexual assault and one count of first degree attempted rape.

Officials say Sanders followed the woman when he saw her walking home in Willert Park. Sanders grabbed her and beat her in the face repeatedly, then dragged her behind a set of bleachers.

The DA says Sanders waved a knife threateningly and forced her to perform a series of sexual acts, and was only able to escape when she offered him her purse.

According to the DA's Office, the woman went to the hospital and was treated for sexual assault, a fractured facial bone, and a cut on her face.

DA Flaherty commended Detective Adam Stephany for his investigation of the case, as well as the woman for her courage and strength. He also expressed gratitude to the jury for their work in coming to a verdict.