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Sheriff: Man facing rape charges attempted to escape from jail

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ORISKANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - John Santoro is locked up at the Oneida County Jail on charges that could get him up to 100 years to life in prison, but authorities say the fact that he's incarcerated has not stopped Santoro from committing more crimes, the latest of which was an afternoon jail break on Wednesday.

Santoro faces several serious crimes currently, accused earlier this year of kidnapping a woman, holding her captive and raping her. He is housed at the Oneida County Jail while the charges proceed through the courts.

At 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, though, he apparently decided he'd had enough of his current domestic situation, and ran off from a recreation area outside the Oneida County Jail. He tasted freedom for about six minutes, making it across the street from the jail before deputies captured him and brought him back. Sheriff Robert Maciol said he has been charged with first-degree escape, a felony, arraigned in Oriskany Court and was returned to the Oneida County Jail where he will be treated differently from now on.

"Obviously special precautions will be taken with him because of this incident," Sheriff Robert Maciol said.

It was a busy day for Santoro. Before the alleged prison break, he was in the Oneida County Courthouse in Utica where he rejected a plea offer on charges that he violated an order of protection by calling the female victim of those rape and kidnapping charges while he was in the Oneida County Jail.

Every time an inmate makes a phone call, a message warns them that their call is being recorded. The order of protection prohibits any and all contact.

Santoro on Wednesday rejected a plea offer of three and a half to seven years in prison for a charge of aggravated criminal contempt. It's not yet clear if this new charge will join the others and be tried all together.

He has, at times, had to wear protective head gear because of a tendency to spit at people in court. He did not wear the protective netting on Wednesday.

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