Former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steven Pigeon was sentenced to 364 days imprisonment Friday over charges of first-degree sexual assault against a child.
The upstate New York Democrat will also be required to register as a sex offender as part of a plea agreement, The Buffalo News reported.
The sentencing came a month after Pigeon pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl, according to the outlet.
The incident occurred in 2016 between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the girl — an acquaintance — was in the fourth grade, the New York Post and The Buffalo News reported.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 23, 2023
Pigeon’s victim came out with her allegations against him in the summer of 2021, according to The Buffalo News.
In December of that year, Pigeon was charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a minor, one count of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree criminal sexual act, and one count of first-degree sexual abuse.
The case was slated for trial, with jury selection on Dec. 4. However, to do away with the girl having to testify in court about the incident, the victim and the prosecutors consented to a plea agreement with Pigeon, according to the Post.
The victim, presently a teenager, was in court at the time of Pigeon’s sentencing.
Cathleen M. Roemer of the Buffalo City Court Bureau, one of the prosecutors, read the girl’s statement aloud in court, according to The Buffalo News.
“I remember for the first year after it happened, I honestly didn’t know what actually happened,” the girl’s letter, addressed to State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller, stated.
“I knew it was wrong and that it shouldn’t have happened. But I was a child. I didn’t know what rape was or what it meant.”
“The day I found out what actually happened to me, I remember feeling so disgusted and scared,” Roemer read out from the girl’s statement.
The incident transformed the victim from a “happy little girl to someone my family couldn’t even recognize,” the girl wrote in her statement.
The victim noted that she wanted to inform her mother of the alleged sexual assault but then remembered Pigeon telling her that he would “hurt” her mother and her brother should word of what he allegedly did go out.
Pigeon “took away practically my entire childhood,” the girl wrote in her statement.
“I wish he could spend the rest of his life in prison,” she said in her statement, according to the Post.
“The sexual assault of a child is a completely evil act. It is one without justification or redemption. But this case is much more than that,” Roemer said, according to The Buffalo News. “Here, the defendant, a powerful man cloaked in the protection of wealth and political influence undoubtedly thought he could do whatever he wanted.”
The recent sentencing marks Pigeon’s third time in trouble with the law.
The Democrat — well acquainted with billionaire Tom Golisano, former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Clintons, according to The Buffalo News — was sentenced in July 2022 to four months imprisonment for conspiring to make an unlawful donation to Cuomo’s re-election campaign in 2014.
The same month, he was sentenced to one year in prison for allegedly bribing State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek — a sentence he had served concurrently with his first.
“There are many people in this country … who reach a pinnacle of their profession, and then do something wrong … and then the higher you are in your profession, the farther you fall,” District Attorney John Flynn told journalists in a statement after the trial. “This is a pretty big fall.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.