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Former political power broker pleads guilty in child sex case

Niagara Gazette - 11/7/2023

Nov. 6—BUFFALO — A long-time Democratic political power broker has pleaded guilty to a sexual abuse charge involving a minor.

Gerald Steven Pigeon, also known as Steve Pigeon, 63, of the Falls, pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a class D violent felony. The plea, part of a deal with Erie County prosecutors, came less than a month before Pigeon was scheduled to stand trial on a six-count indictment accusing him of the rape of a young girl, under 11 years old, in 2016.

Pigeon was originally charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, one count of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree criminal sexual act, one count of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

He remains free on his own recognizance and faces a maximum possible sentence of 7 years in prison. A temporary order of protection, issued on behalf of the victim, remains in effect.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said, "On a date between November 2016 and December 2016, the defendant subjected a child, who was less than 11-years-old, to sexual contact at a location in Erie County. The victim was known to the defendant." Flynn has previously said that Pigeon "engaged in sexual intercourse and sexual conduct with a child who was less than 11-years-old at a location in Erie County."

Pigeon has already been convicted and served jail time for arranging illegal political donations and for his role in a bribery scheme involving a New York State Supreme Court justice.

He was sentenced to a year in jail for his guilty plea to a count of third-degree bribery for bribing Supreme Court Justice John Michalek between 2012 and 2015. Michalek and Pigeon exchanged emails and text messages which showed that Pigeon was bribing the justice in order to influence judicial decisions.

The messages showed that Pigeon helped Michalek gain employment and official appointments for two of his family members. Pigeon also gave Michalek free tickets to box seats for Buffalo Sabres hockey games and gave the justice's family a free ticket to a $1,000 political fundraiser in New York City.

Michalek pleaded guilty to third-degree bribe receiving and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. He served a jail term of 1 year and 4 months for his plea.

Pigeon served his one year local jail sentence concurrently with a four-month federal prison term. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to illegally cause a $25,000 political campaign donation.

An Albany political mover and shaker, Pigeon admitted he arranged a from a Canadian businessman with online gaming interests to the 2014 re-election campaign of then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Neither Cuomo nor his campaign faced any charges of wrongdoing. Donations to election campaigns from foreign nationals are prohibited by federal law.

Michalek and Pigeon, both attorneys, were disbarred after their guilty pleas.

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(c)2023 the Niagara Gazette (Niagara Falls, N.Y.)

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