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‘Sly’ Williams Pleads Guilty

August 20, 2002

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ Former NBA forward Sylvester ``Sly″ Williams pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree kidnapping.

The one-time New York Knick and Boston Celtic has been held in the Broome County Jail without bail since his arrest in January in connection with two incidents last year.

Williams, 44, a first-round draft pick out of Rhode Island by the Knicks in 1979, could face up to five years in prison on the single felony count at sentencing Friday. He did not appear Monday at Broome County Court. Judge Martin Smith announced the plea as jury selection was to begin for his trial.

He had faced charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree kidnapping in connection with an incident in September, when he was accused of holding a woman captive for 24 hours. Prosecutors also accused Williams of having sex with a 42-year-old woman against her will Jan. 11 at her home in Endicott, charging him with rape, burglary, sodomy and criminal contempt.

Defense lawyer James M. Barber told the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton that the woman involved in both incidents was Williams’ girlfriend.

``He pleaded guilty to what he said he had done,″ Barber said. ``He has consistently denied the other charges.″

The 6-foot-7 Williams played for the Knicks for four seasons. He was a member of the 1985-86 Boston Celtics, but was released from the team at midseason.

Williams moved to Binghamton within the past few years. At the time of his arrest, Williams was working the graveyard shift in the fabrication department at American Pipe & Plastics Inc., operating machines that bend and shape pipe.

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