Niagara Falls Lawyer Nicholas D’Angelo Takes Plea on Sex Abuse Case; Gets 6 Months Jail, 10 Years Probation

Niagara Falls attorney Nicholas D. D’Angelo, 30, pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Debra Givens to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, class D felonies, two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, and two counts of third-degree rape, class E felonies.

He will serve six months in a county jail and 10 years probation under a split sentencing plea agreement with the Erie County District Attorney’s office.

D’Angelo, who was active in Niagara County politics, was first charged in November 2020. Niagara Country District Attorney Caroline Wojtaskzek recused her office from handling the case because D’Angelo had formerly helped with her campaign.

The case was referred to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, who brought charges against D’Angelo on a 12-count indictment accusing him of raping a woman in 2016, sexually abusing a second woman in 2018, and raping a teen younger than 17 in 2019.

D’Angelo’s conviction means that he will be placed on the state sex offender registry for at least 30 years after release.  

By pleading to a felony, D’Angelo will lose his law license. As part of his plea deal, D’Angelo agreed he would never apply for another law license for life.

Before his arrest in 2020, D’Angelo, a full-time practicing lawyer who also worked part-time for Niagara County Social Services, served part-time as managing editor of the Niagara Falls Reporter for about three years.

D’Angelo resigned from the Reporter in August 2020, three months before his arrest, following the announcement of a civil lawsuit by a woman who accused D’Angelo of raping her when she was his client.

None of the victims, in either the criminal or civil cases, had any connection with the Reporter or made any complaint based on his work on behalf of the Reporter.

D’Angelo’s legal troubles began when his former law client, Noelle DelZoppo, accused him of raping her when he was her attorney. She commenced a civil lawsuit.

She also took to social media calling for other victims to come forward. Several did.

Though DelZoppo was not one of the three victims named in the criminal case, she was instrumental in getting these women to come forward and speak to the district attorney.

After D’Angelo was criminally charged, he made a motion to sever the case into three separate cases, arguing that each of the three alleged victims accused him of different types of conduct. Each was defensible, his attorneys argued, but requiring him to defend against all three was prejudicial.

One woman alleged D’Angelo, whom she met on a dating app, raped her in his car in 2016. She reported the rape in 2020, following DelZoppo’s call for victims.

Another woman claimed that while working as his intern at his law office, D’Angelo groped and kissed her.

The third accuser, a minor who turned to prostitution to support her drug addiction, was allegedly two months short of the legal age of consent of 17 when D’Angelo began a sexual relationship.

While the accuser could not pinpoint an exact date, either before or after her 17th birthday, D’Angelo made a cash app payment to her when she was still 16.

D’Angelo will be sentenced at 2 p.m. on July 6. If he begins his sentence in July and qualifies for time off for good behavior, he will be out of jail by October.

Though the term of incarceration is short, the split sentence, with 10 years of strict sex offender probation, the lifetime loss of his legal livelihood, and sex offender registration for decades, is intended to be a serious punishment for serious crimes.

Others on social media disagree, and feel the short jail term was accomplished through political connections.



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