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Man in charge of a City of Buffalo crime prevention program faces criminal charges

Posted at 3:33 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 23:51:25-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A City of Buffalo employee is in custody, accused of forcibly sexually touching someone.

50-year-old Antwan Diggs of Buffalo has been arraigned in Buffalo City Court on one count of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a Class “B” violent felony, one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a Class “D” felony, and one count of Forcible Touching, a Class “A” misdemeanor.

"Doesn't matter what your status is in this community, if you commit a crime, you will be prosecuted," Erie County DA John Flynn said.

Diggs is currently listed on the City of Buffalo website as the city's Community Crime Prevention Initiative Coordinator within the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA). His biography also notes that he is Pastor of the Hananiah Lutheran Church in Buffalo, and supervises a youth program At Saint Columba Brigid Teen Center "so that [youth] have a safe place on Friday and Saturday nights."

Buffalo Diocese released this statement on behalf of work at Saint Columba Brigid Teen Center:

"Antwan Diggs used space at SS Columba Brigid Teen Center to run the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program. Mr. Diggs was the Community Crime Prevention Initiative Coordinator and an employee of the City of Buffalo. No SS Columba Brigid Parish youth were involved in the program and no parishioners were affected."

According to a spokesperson for the city, Diggs has been placed on paid administrative leave "effective immediately." It was also added Diggs was hired in June 2001.

The incident in question allegedly happened on August 19, 2019, at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Diggs served jail time for two felony convictions, which he has spoken about to 7 Eyewitness News in the past.

"The prior record had nothing to do with youth. There was no reason to have concerns," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. He added, "This is in the legal process. I would suggest that we not jump to conclusions until we get more information."

Police say Diggs was taken into custody Tuesday morning at his church.

Diggs is scheduled to return on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. A no-contact order of protection was issued on behalf of the victim.

If convicted on all charges, Diggs faces a maximum of 25 years prison.