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Sex offender admits to daylight robbery of woman in Watertown parking lot

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A registered sex offender who served a 10-year term in state prison faces a return to prison for 10 more years after admitting Tuesday in Jefferson County Court that he robbed a woman in broad daylight in the Stone Street parking lot.

Richard D. Lennox, 36, whose last known address was 362 Rutland St., also is expected to be ordered to undergo an additional five years of supervision upon his release from prison when sentenced Feb. 19.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery, admitting that he forcibly stole a car from a 24-year-old unidentified woman on May 25 in the city-owned lot. He also admitted that he struck the victim, a downtown worker who was returning from her lunch break at 12:25 p.m., forced his way into her car and began to assault her; he then briefly drove off with her vehicle. A County Court attendant came to the woman’s assistance, and the attacker ran from the parking lot toward Sherman Street. Mr. Lennox was arrested about two months later after the victim identified him through a photo array provided by police.

Lennox will be sentenced as a second-felony offender. According to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Lennox was sentenced in Onondaga County in October 2001 to 10 years in prison for first-degree rape for an attack upon a 26-year-old woman Aug. 21, 2001, following the forced entry into a residence. He served the complete prison term and was discharged Aug. 19, 2011, for five years’ post-release supervision. He is a Level 2 risk on the state’s sex offender registry, termed a “sexually violent offender.”

Lennox was additionally charged in October with aggravated harassment after he allegedly sent a threatening letter to a Lowville man from the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building. The victim in that case had no connection to the robbery case. As part of the disposition of the case, the harassment charge pending in City Court was merged with the robbery charge and dismissed.

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