Appeals court upholds indecent material conviction


KINGSTON – The Appellate Division
of State Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of a man, who pled
guilty to two counts of disseminating indecent material to minors as felonies.

The conviction of Clifford Wares, 38, stems from a series of electronic
communications he sent to a 13-year-old victim between November 2010 and
March 2011 during which he discussed and solicited sexual activity. He
also transmitted several explicit sexual photographs.

Following his arrest, he was charged with 36 counts of disseminating indecent
material to a minor and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

A prior felony offender, Wares agreed to plead guilty to three counts
of disseminating indecent material to a minor in exchange for consecutive
prison terms totaling nine to 18 years.

When he appeared for sentencing on January 15, 2012, he continually interrupted
the court and Ulster County Court Judge Donald Williams adjourned the
sentencing for one day. During that next proceeding, Wares continued to
interrupt the court, leading to the judge ordering him gagged and held
in contempt. He was eventually sentenced by the judge to consecutive terms
of 3 ½ to seven years in prison on the first two counts and a consecutive
term of two to four years on the third count. He was also ordered to register
as a sex offender and was sentenced to an additional 30 day jail sentence
and $2,000 fine for contempt of court.

On appeal, Wares maintained the indictment failed to identify the specific
acts constituting the charged crimes and that he did not receive the effective
assistance of counsel. He also argued the sentence imposed with harsh
and excessive.

The appeals court rejected all of his arguments.


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