Saturday, August 15, 2009

Albany "Bike Path Rapist" sentenced to 20 years in prison, 20 years post release supervision

A 25 year old Upstate NY man was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a 2nd 20 year term of post release supervision for raping a 37 year old cyclist on an Albany, NY bike path last summer. Judge Andrew Ceresia sentenced Stephen Pluff, of Cohoes, NY, after Pluff plead guilty to a single count of 1st degree rape, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. In NY, predatory sexual assault carries up to a life sentence.

Counts dropped as part of Pluff's July 27 plea agreement include 2 counts of 1st degree criminal sex act, a count of 1st degree unlawful imprisonment, another count of 2nd degree assault, and 2 counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Pluff, who has a previous sex-related felony conviction, admitted last month that at 2 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2008, he was riding on the path just south of 102nd Street when he knocked the woman off her bike and attacked her. He then bound and raped her.

Investigators said they were aided by the fact that Pluff left his red, white and blue 20-inch mountain-style bike and some of his clothes at the scene.

Pictures of the bike released to the media and DNA from the clothes helped Troy Detective Sgts. Ron Epstein and Brian Owens capture Pluff, said District Attorney Richard McNally.
After the attack, the woman was able to run away and call police.

The victim impact statement included these words from the woman who was attacked.

''I just took a simple bike ride on a beautiful sunny day that turned into a nightmare. There is now a scar on my soul I will carry forever. I feel sad for you that you were never taught how to be a real man.

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