Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins called it quits earlier this week after being charged with abusing his power by offering lighter sentences in exchange for sexual favors.
According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Higgins, a Republican who regularly boasted of waging culture wars against liberals, turned himself in on Wednesday after a yearslong investigation.
According to the Post-Gazette, “The attorney general’s office charged Mr. Higgins with obstructing administration of law or other governmental function, official oppression, recklessly endangering another person, intimidation of witnesses or victims and hindering apprehension or prosecution.”
“District Attorney Higgins traded his power and law enforcement authority for sexual favors and violated his oath to the people of Bedford County — compromising the security of his community and the safety of confidential informants,” state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement on the grand jury indictment.
Higgins is known for pushing a pro-Christian agenda when prosecuting. He has in the past boasted about being attacked by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“I guess I should take solace in the fact that the liberals are mad at me – again,” he said in 2014 regarding the case of a 14-year-old accused of desecrating a statue of Jesus. “If that tends to upset the ‘anti-Christian, ban-school-prayer, war-on-Christmas, oppose-display-of-Ten-Commandments’ crowd, I make no apologies.”
Higgins released a statement that said in part: “I have been accused of engaging in conduct unbecoming of a district attorney, but more importantly, unbecoming of a husband and father. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, I cannot comment on the validity of these accusations at this time. I have faith in the criminal justice process that I have been a part of for my entire legal career.
“I have concluded that, in light of these charges, I am not able to effectively fulfill my duties as District Attorney and that my family needs my full attention. It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as a prosecutor in this community for the past 18 years. I hope I have made a positive difference.”