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Massena store owner to be indicted by grand jury

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MASSENA - The preliminary hearing for a Massena businessman charged with forcibly raping a teenage customer at his East Orvis Street game store Wednesday night has been cancelled.

Village police had charged James R. Roshia Jr., 35, of 2958 County Route 49, Norwood, with first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree unlawful imprisonment at 10:22 p.m. Tuesday.

Roshia, owner of a game shop on East Orvis Street, was arraigned by Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday in local court was cancelled after St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duve sent a letter to the Massena court indicating the hearing was not necessary because Roshia’s case had been presented to a grand jury on Thursday, and that panel voted to indict the Massena businessman.

The grand jury has not handed up its latest indictments to St. Lawrence County Court so the counts returned against Roshia have not been made public.

The charges filed by village police stemmed from an incident that reportedly took place at 9:50 p.m. Tuesday at Time Capsule Games. The 18-year-old female told police she had been at the store with three other people, two males and a female, shortly before closing when he asked her friends to leave so he could talk to the alleged victim alone for a short period of time.

She said as soon as her friends left the store Roshia locked the front door. She said she immediately sent one of her male friends a text asking him if he was leaving the area. She said he responded by asking her if everything was okay.

“James had grabbed me by the right arm and led me to the back room. I was telling James I did not want to go there with him. He said he wanted to see how I was,” she said, noting she was aware of reports from friends that Roshia had previously made inappropriate comments to other teenage females at the store.

“I kept telling him I didn’t want to go, and I was trying to pull away. He would not let me go. When he got me in the room, he shut and locked the door,” she said.

She said her efforts to get away from Roshia were unsuccessful, and he pulled her into a back room, locked the door and forced her to engage in sex acts with him over a short period of time.

“I started crying because I knew I couldn’t escape,” the teenager noted in her statement to police.

The teenager said she was able to text her male friend asking for help. Her friend then reportedly returned to the store and kicked the front door until Roshia went out front and unlocked the door.

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