BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo Crime Prevention Program Coordinator was arraigned in Buffalo City Court Tuesday, according to District Attorney John Flynn’s Office.
Charges against 50-year-old Antwan Diggs include first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sexual abuse, and forcible touching.
Officials say on August 19 at 2:30 p.m. in Buffalo, Diggs allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with the victim by forcible compulsion, and also forcibly touched the victim and subjected them to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.
News 4 has learned the victim is a 17-year-old boy.
According to court documents, Diggs and the victim were at the Courtyard Hotel near Canalside when Diggs began rubbing the victim’s legs and penis. The victim says he pulled away several times.
Diggs is also accused of telling the victim to undress, which he refused to do.
Ultimately, though, the victim did undress and was forced to perform oral sex on Diggs, court documents said. Diggs is also accused of performing oral sex on the victim.
“I am shocked,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. “If you talk to many people that have worked with him in the community, they would say that he was hard-working, committed to the community, did good work. So it is quite a shock, quite a surprise, but again this is in the legal process. I would suggest that we not jump to conclusions until we get more information and more details.”
Sources tell News 4, Diggs, originally from Philadelphia, is currently a Program Coordinator for the city’s BURA Community Crime Prevention Initiative, introducing youth in the city to community service and leadership development.
“He was working with a different crime prevention program with the community,” Mayor Brown said. “Working with block clubs. Working with our neighborhood business association on various crime prevention initiatives including crime prevention through environmental design.”
Diggs allegedly knew Buffalo police were looking to question him, so he traveled to South Carolina this past weekend before coming back to Buffalo where police arrested him today at the church where he is a pastor.
A city spokesperson says Diggs will be placed on paid administrative leave immediately. He’s been an employee with the city for 15 years.
“He’s been working with the city I think since at least 2001,” Mayor Brown said. “We certainly were aware of the prior conviction. The city has a program of working with returning citizens, helping people to turn their lives around and return to the community. He was hired before I was made mayor of the City of Buffalo, and we kept the individual employed.”
According to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, because he has two prior felony convictions, no bail was set.
“The prior record had nothing to do with youth,” Mayor Brown said. “There was no reason to have concerns based on the prior record.”
Due to ethical reasons, a DA spokesperson says they are unable to release further information on those two previous convictions.
Diggs attorney will have to make a bail application, but Flynn’s office will be asking that no bail is set because he believes Diggs is a flight risk.
He is set to return to court Monday, October 21, at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing and faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
City officials discussed the charges against Diggs Tuesday afternoon: