SARATOGA COUNTY – A Clifton Park man was sentenced to eight years in state prison Wednesday for committing two separate daylight attacks on women he didn’t know in Malta and Saratoga Springs within a few days of each other last September.
Tyler J. Gaston, 27, of Kinns Road, pleaded guilty in May to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree assault, as well as misdemeanor obstruction of breathing and a harassment charge. He was sentenced by Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy III to four years in prison on each charge, with the sentences to be served consecutively.
Both charges are violent felonies for which he could have received as much as seven years in prison. He also will be added to the state’s sex offender registry.
Gaston’s case drew an unusual amount of attention at the time of the arrests because the circumstances – a man attacking women he didn’t know during daylight hours – are extremely unusual in Saratoga County.
Gaston was arrested on Sept. 26, shortly after the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department began investigating a complaint of a woman being attacked while jogging on the Zim Smith Trail in Malta at around 3:45 p.m. that day. He approached the woman from behind in the area of Ruhle Road South and attacked her, Saratoga County sheriff’s officials said.
Gaston fled, and the woman, who had suffered a facial injury during the attack, got help from other people on the trail. Deputies canvassed the area and found a witness who reported a suspicious person linked to a specific vehicle. Authorities subsequently stopped the vehicle and arrested Gaston, who was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. The woman was treated by the Malta-Stillwater EMS.
After the Malta arrest, Gaston was quickly linked to another attack on a woman that had occurred a few days earlier in Saratoga Springs.
In that case, a woman was attacked at about 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at Maplewood Cemetery, a small cemetery at Weibel Avenue and Loudon Road near the Wilton town line, and located close to the Northway Exit 15 large commercial plazas. The victim reported she had been attacked by a man while walking through the cemetery and was subjected to forced sexual contact.