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Hoke asks judge for protection
Canandaigua, N.Y. -- An Ontario County man who admitted sexually abusing boys today asked a judge to protect him as he heads to state prison for 19 years.
"There have been threats since the beginning of this case but it's been more specific since the plea deal," said Leslie Hoke's attorney Aaron Sperano.
Hoke is a former firefighter and youth coach who met his victims through these activities. Two of those victims confronted him in a Canandaigua courtroom Monday.
"I grew up with him. I looked at him as an uncle," said a young man who wants us only to identify him as K.F. He says he was abused off and on, sometimes in Hoke's Canandaigua apartment.
"I wasn't going to say anything to anybody but my mom pulled me aside (and) she asked me 'did he do that?' I started crying and said yes," he said.
Based on his story police were able to establish a timeline of organizations where Hoke volunteered as a coach and firefighter. Police say there are more than 20 victims but only three have agreed to tell their story and press charges.
"These three boys deserve a lot of credit for protecting the boys that didn't want to get involved and other kids who are out there that this guy can no longer victimize," said Assistant District Attorney Jason McBride.
The second victim who spoke in court calls himself B.A. - shared his story with the judge and with 13WHAM News. "Every day for me is a struggle. My life is hell," he said. But he added "I want to get past this."
Hoke pleaded guilty to three counts but did not have to admit to specific details. "That's the only condition where Mr. Holk would have entered a plea in this case," said Sperano
Sperano revealed that Hoke was also a victim of a sexual assault by his peers in his pre high school years. Asked if he had any taken any responsibility for his own victims Sperano said "that's between Mr. Hoke and the Department of Corrections."
McBride said the plea deal was offered to prevent the victims from having to testify at trial. "The whole legal process re-victimizes these kids. The three victims wanted this process to be done with."
Judge Craig Doran chastised Hoke for not taking responsibility. "He has still not held himself accountable for what he's doneyou are the most evil of evil," he said.
Yet that did not stop Hoke from asking the judge for a favor. Through his attorney he requested a delay because of the threats coming from inmates at the Elmyra processing center where he will go next.
"That's one of the most vunerable positions he'll be put in. He's worried about being attacked," said his attorney.
Judge Doran did not grant the delay.
His young victims both said 19 years is not enough. Ironically both of them understand the fear Hoke now faces. It is something they have lived with and experienced again in the courtroom Monday.
"I was so nervous I was shaking," said K.F. "I felt like I was going to cry but didn't because I wanted to stay strong."