Area Man Jailed On Rape, Abuse Charges

A Jamestown area man is in Chautauqua County Jail after a month-long investigation into a report of a “suspicious situation,” the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said.

Richard Lafrance, 33, of Forest Avenue Extension was being held without bail on charges of two counts of second-degree rape, three counts of second-degree criminal sex act and first-degree sexual abuse. He was booked into the jail Monday night after going through the Centralized Arraignment Program.

No details of the investigation were made public Tuesday, though the Sheriff’s Office said alleged incidents involving Lafrance took place in the towns of Sheridan and Ellery.

The investigation was handled by the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division and the New York State Police after a complaint was received May 9.

According to court documents, Lafrance is facing charges of rape and criminal sexual act through Sheridan Town Court while the remaining charges (rape, two counts of criminal sexual act and sexual abuse) are through Ellery Town Court.

Each charge is a class D felony.

Lafrance is tentatively scheduled to appear for separate preliminary hearings Thursday in Ellery and Sheridan.

The Busti resident was convicted in 2006 on charges of second-degree rape and second-degree sexual abuse. According to state records, the incident took place in Oregon in September 2005 and resulted in a 75-month state prison sentence. As part of the conviction, Lafrance registered as a Level 3 sex offender.