May 31, 2018
Former Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins pleaded guilty on Wednesday to corruption charges involving obstructing drug investigations and taking it easy on female dealers in exchange for sex. Prosecutors say this will save him from ever going behind bars.
Higgins pleaded guilty to 31 misdemeanor counts, including official oppression and obstructing the administration of law in a plea deal that will keep him from going to prison, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
According to court documents, Higgins was exchanging nude photos with a female drug dealer by way of Snapchat and received oral sex from the woman about a month after he told a state trooper not to charge her with a drug delivery, according to an affidavit.
Higgins also offered lenient plea deals to friends of the same woman, reduced bail amounts, protected known drug dealers and revealed the identities of confidential informants to individuals under investigation by police, the affidavit asserts.
"Former District Attorney Higgins traded his power and law enforcement authority for sexual favors and he violated his oath to the people of Bedford County — compromising the security of his community and the safety of confidential informants," Shapiro said.
Bedford County is approximately 200 miles west of Philadelphia.
Higgins resigned in early April when he was charged, saying it was "unbecoming of a district attorney" and "unbecoming of a husband and father." He will be sentenced in August.