Buffalo program leader accused of sexually abusing teen in Canalside hotel

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) City Court documents are shedding new details on the arrest of a man who runs several city programs for the City of Buffalo.

It was inside the Courtyard by Mariott Hotel at Canalside on Monday August 19, at about 2:30 p.m. when a 17 year old male claims Antwan Diggs, 50, began rubbing the teen’s private parts. Court papers say ‘the complainant did pull away from the defendant three times. The defendant then ordered the complainant to get naked, and the complainant did say no two times’, but eventually complied. Diggs is then accused of forcing the teen to perform oral sex on him.

“It seems totally out of character,” said Dan Tredo Sr., who knows Diggs from working next door to the food pantry that Diggs runs out of the Hananiah Lutheran Church on Genesee St., where he was pastor. “From all appearances, he’s been a really decent person. He mentioned in his younger years he had been more problems and trouble at the time, but he said that he’s gotten past it, changed quite a bit and is much more community oriented.”

Diggs had two previous felony convictions from decades ago, before he was hired by the City more than fifteen years ago. Mayor Brown says the convictions did not inolve minors so Diggs was allowed to work with block clubs and things like the summer youth program.

In fact just just three days before the alleged abuse, he posted on his Facebook page, a photo of him surrounded by teens, ‘praying they all go on to continue and serve.’

“Antwan was someone that came up from the community,” said Rasheed Wyatt, Common Council member for the University district. “He turned his life around. he made no bones about what he came from, and so to hear something like this, you are shocked, but I hope that we will have a level head and understand and hope that it’s gonna go through the legal system as it should. But we’re praying for the victim and for Antwan’s family.”

Antwan Diggs is held without bail at the Erie County Holding Center until his next City Court appearance on Monday. He is charged with Criminal Sexual Act in the First degree, a Class “B” felony, one count of Sexual abuse in the First Degree, a Class “D” felony, and one count of Forcible Touching, a Class “A” misdemeanor.

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