Rochester man sentenced to 20 years for trying to stab RPD officer

Leon Roach was convicted in a bench trial on Tuesday. He blames a seizure disorder. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A Rochester man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday after he was convicted of trying to stab a Rochester Police officer and injuring two other people in September 2017.

Monroe County Court Judge Sam Valleriani convicted Leon Roach in a bench trial on October 5. Roach was found guilty first and second-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation.

On September 14, 2017, Roach was accused of attacking two roommates at his home on Louise Street, then stabbing RPD Officer Amber Grosch who responded to help. Officer Grosch was protected by her police vest and only received minor injuries.

MORE: Man accused of stabbing RPD officer offers explanation

“This defendant, who has a history of violence, brutally attacked three different individuals without regard to consequences or the law," said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Julie Hahn. "Leon Roach is now out of our community and will be serving a lengthy prison sentence.”

During hearings leading up to his trial, Roach repeatedly insisted the alleged crimes would not have happened if not for his seizures, but was not allowed to elaborate on medical issues or any potential defense.

"While it may be serious to you, it's not relevant in this proceeding," said Judge Valleriani during an October 2017 hearing.

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