Al Dirschberger Sentenced to Five Years in Prison For Rape of Employee

April 12, 2019

Former Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger was sentenced to five years in prison on rape charges.
(Mark Mulville/News file photo)
Former Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger was sentenced to five years in prison on rape charges.

Former Erie County Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for raping a 28-year-old subordinate while the two attended an Albany conference in 2017.

Jurors last month found Dirschberger guilty after a weeklong trial, during which the woman accused Dirschberger of raping her in her hotel room while she was intoxicated. Dirschberger testified the two engaged in consensual sex and that she invited him in.

The accuser gave a lengthy and emotional statement in Albany County Court on Friday about how her life has been torn apart by both the sexual assault and the trial. She described how she went from being a sheltered young woman with a dream job as a county social worker to becoming the victim of a rape that triggered months of mental guilt, shame, anxiety, panic attacks, weight loss and suicidal thoughts.
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