BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A former chair of the Erie County Democratic Committee pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he sexually assaulted a child who was younger than 11.
G. Steven Pigeon, 61, was ordered held without bail after his arraignment on five felony charges including rape and predatory sexual assault against a child. He also faces a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.
If convicted, the once high-profile political figure could be sentenced to life in prison.
“I believe he should be in jail for the rest of his life,” District Attorney John Flynn said at a news conference.
“This is rape. This isn't child molestation,” Flynn said.
The prosecutor alleged Pigeon engaged in sexual intercourse and other sexual conduct with the child during one evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2016.
“It’s absolutely untrue,” Pigeon told The Buffalo News on Wednesday, a day before turning himself in to law enforcement.
Pigeon, who worked as a political consultant after chairing the county Democratic Party, pleaded guilty in 2018 to bribing a judge in exchange for favors in legal cases between 2012 and 2015.
Two weeks after the bribery plea, he pleaded guilty to making an illegal $25,000 campaign contribution to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 reelection campaign. Sentencing in those cases is pending.