On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, a Schenectady County Jury convicted Arthur Pryor (DOB 8/31/75), a resident of the City of Schenectady, on a single count of Predatory Sexual Assault, in violation of New York State Penal Law Section 130.95(2), which is a class A-II felony. The trial began on November 6, 2023, in Schenectady County Court. The jury delivered its verdict after approximately an hour of deliberations on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
The jury convicted Mr. Pryor of Predatory Sexual Assault for engaging in oral sexual contact with an 18-year-old woman by means of forcible compulsion. Mr. Pryor was charged with the enhanced crime of Predatory Sexual Assault because Mr. Pryor had a prior conviction of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree. Prior to trial, Mr. Pryor admitted a special information confirming his prior sexual assault conviction out of Kings County from November 16, 2020. For that conviction he received a sentence of 12 years imprisonment with 10 years of parole. Because he admitted his prior conviction before the judge, the jury in this case did not know about it. At the time of the crime in this case, on June 1, 2021, the Defendant had been out of prison for about a year and was on parole for that prior conviction. Based on that prior conviction, Mr. Pryor was a registered sex offender at the time of this crime.
In this case, Mr. Pryor subjected a female barely known to him to oral sexual contact through use of physical force. The sexual assault occurred inside of a home on Albany Street where Mr. Pryor and the victim lived. The home had been used as a boarding house, with individual rooms for rent and shared space, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Mr. Pryor entered the victim’s room without her consent. He then forcibly removed her clothes and physically overwhelmed the victim despite efforts to fend off the attack. Mr. Pryor then made contact with the victim’s vagina with his mouth. The victim immediately reported the incident to family members who contacted the Schenectady Police Department. Just hours after the attack, the victim was seen at Ellis Hospital for a Sexual Assault Examination. Items of forensic evidence taken during the exam were sent to the New York State Forensic Investigation Center for DNA testing. The DNA results indicated there was a possible match with the Defendant from his prior conviction. Mr. Pryor was later interviewed by police where he denied any contact with the victim’s vagina. A control sample of Mr. Pryor’s DNA was submitted to the lab for comparison and found to be a match for DNA left on the victim’s vulva.
At trial the Defense argued that the parties engaged in consensual oral sexual conduct. The Jury rejected that based on the evidence presented at trial, including testimony from the victim, the victim’s family members who witnessed the victim’s hysterical nature after the assault, the medical records corroborating the victim’s testimony, the DNA results corroborating the victim’s story as well as Mr. Pryor’s denial to police that he ever had direct contact with the victim’s vagina.
Mr. Pryor faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison and his sex offender status will be reevaluated. Should he ever be released from prison, he will be a level three sex offender, which is the highest level. Mr. Pryor will be sentenced on January 12, 2024 by the Hon. Catherine E. Leahy-Scott, a Court of Claims Judge who presided over the trial as a visiting judge. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Maria Apruzzese of the Special Victims Unit. Mr. Pryor was represented by John Della Ratta, Esq. of the Schenectady County Public Defender’s Office.