His neighbors in Tonawanda never knew of Sypnier's background because he was convicted before the adoption of laws requiring sex offenders to register with police.A relative once came forward and said Sypnier had molested her while she was growing up, former Erie County prosecutor Frank Clark told the News.
Sypnier's convictions date to 1987, when he was given three years' probation for sex abuse.
He spent a year in prison for sexually abusing a minor in 1994.
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After his most recent arrest at age 90 on charges of raping and sodomizing a 4-year-old girl and her 7-year-old sister, his neighbors in the suburb of Tonawanda recalled what appeared to be a kindly Sypnier offering rides to adults, handing out money to children so they could buy candy, and baby-sitting.
The victimized sisters called him "Grandpa," their mother said at the time, adding that it "was a total shock" when police showed her sexually explicit pictures of her girls found in Sypnier's apartment.
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