Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announces that 60 year-old Donald Bridges, on the eve of jury selection, pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child before Erie County Court Judge Kennethn F. Case.
Between November 2012 and December 2012, Bridges orally sodomized and sexually abused a 6 year-old child while “babysitting” him. It is believed that Bridges also threatened to physically assault the child with a knife should he reveal the sexual assault. Eventually, the child told his first grade teacher and a school counselor, who then made a hotline call to Child Protective Services. Thereafter, Detectives Deborah Buyers and Nicole Jones of the Buffalo Police Department Sex Offense Squad commenced a criminal investigation.
The child and his mother left the Buffalo area in April of 2013 in an effort to avoid being harassed by Bridges and his family members. New York State Police Investigator Kevin Kendall, Chief DA Investigator Joseph Riga and DA Special Victims Investigator Carol Weigand exhaustively searched for the child and his mother prior to trial. They traced them to at least three different states between August of 2013 and May of 2014. A material witness warrant was obtained and both mother and child proved to be fully cooperative once found, likely dashing Bridges’ hopes that he would escape justice because the victim would not be available to testify against him. Bridges was remanded into custody and faces a maximum of 25 years in state prison when he is sentenced on August 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM before Judge Case.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Atorney Rosanne Johnson, Chief of DA Sedita’s Special Victims Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Liam Dwyer, who also is assigned to the Special Victims Bureau.
DA Sedita stated: “Because of the dedication and dogged determination of the investigators and prosecutors assigned to this case, an odious pedophile has been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”