Former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon arraigned on six charges, including rape

Local News

UPDATE: Pigeon was granted bail on Monday morning. Bail was set at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

(WIVB) – Former Erie County Democratic chairman Steve Pigeon was arraigned on a six-count indictment Thursday morning, including first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault. He was accused of raping a girl under the age of eleven in the fall of 2016.

The charges are as follows:

  • Two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child (Class “A-II” felonies)
  • One count of Rape in the First Degree (Class “B” felony)
  • One count of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree (Class “B” felony)
  • One count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (Class “D” felony)
  • One count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Class “A” misdemeanor)

“He’s facing life in prison,” said John Flynn, the Erie County District Attorney. Within hours of turning himself in to NY State Police in Clarence, Pigeon, 61, was in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit in State Supreme Court pleading not guilty to a six count indictment which includes predatory sexual assault and rape.

“One evening there were actually two separate events that occurred that evening that resulted in these charges,” said Flynn.

Last summer the girl told her mother about it, an investigation began immediately and prosecutors say soon after that Pigeon sent a disturbing text last July, according to Patrick Swanson, an assistant district attorney. “The defendant texted one of the victims family members who the defendant is close with to inquire about what was going on and why no one was returning his call, stating; ‘Why won’t you call? I am ready to do somethin drastic . You have to talk to me.’

Later that day, prosecutors say Pigeon showed up at the victim’s home. On August 2, prosecutor’s say Pigeon’s close friend Gary Parenti showed up at the victim’s home inquiring about the case, and the family called police.

Parenti and Pigeon worked closely on Tom Golisano’s campaign for NY governor. Pigeon not only spent years fundraising for the Clinton and Obama campaigns but even worked in Washington DC for the US Secretary of Health and Human Services. An attorney himself, Pigeon was currently awaiting sentencing on state charges of bribery and federal charges of illegal political donations.

State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns issued temporary orders of protection for the victim and her mother. Pigeon was scheduled to be back in court on Monday at 9:15 a.m. to make a request for bail from State Supreme Court Justice William Boller.

During that court appearance, Pigeon was remanded on $250,000 bail.

If convicted of all charges, Pigeon faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. He will be back in court on December 20.

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