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Monday, May 7, 2012

Ex-Cop Admits Abuse of Boy

Ex-cop admits abuse of boy The Albany Times Union by Bob Gardinier  -  May 4, 2012 Former Albany DARE officer pleads guilty to two felony counts ALBANY, NY — Former Albany police Officer Paul Pierce, who took the stand while on trial in Rensselaer County last month and denied he abused a 16-year-old boy, has now admitted in another court that he abused the teen.  The former DARE officer admitted the abuse in Albany County court, where he faced charges involving the same victim.  Pierce could face up to 20 years in prison after convictions in three counties where he was accused of abusing the teenager. His sentences will run consecutively, officials said.  He pleaded guilty Thursday in Albany County Court to two counts of third-degree criminal sex act, a felony, and faces up to 6 years in prison, according to District Attorney David Soares.  Pierce, 59, of East Greenbush also faces 10 years of post-release supervision and will have to register as a sex offender. He will be sentenced July 20 in Albany.  After a three-day bench trial, Rensselaer County Judge Robert Jacon convicted Pierce on April 11 of two counts of felony third-degree criminal sex act and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child regarding abuse at his East Greenbush home.  Pierce faces up to eight years in prison on those charges. He will be sentenced June 15 in Rensselaer County.  Pierce also pleaded guilty April 23 to similar charges in Warren County over allegations he victimized the same boy and the boy's 16-year-old sister at his camp in Chestertown.  He faces up to 6 years in prison when he is sentenced in that county. Pierce, who was once assigned to Albany High School, admitted on the stand during the Rensselaer County trial that he got drunk and made inappropriate sexual comments to the underage girl but denied he ever sexually molested her or her brother.  Pierce also volunteered for many years for the Albany Police Athletic League. He faced charges he sodomized the 16-year-old boy between 2009 and 2010.  Pierce said he was close to the teens and their family and they often visited his camp and home.  His attorney Joseph McCoy asked him if he sexually abused the boy and Pierce choked up with tears. "There was never anything like that at my home, never," Pierce said in the Troy court.  A recorded telephone conversation of the boy's father trying to get Pierce to admit the molestation was played during the non-jury trial.  "You know I'm not a monster," Pierce said after the father confronted him in a call that was recorded by State Police.  "I wish you would just man up and tell me what you did," the father said.  The boy's family had a meeting to confront Pierce.  The father said Pierce denied the allegations, so the family brought the boy into the room.  The victim "sat up straight, looked him right in the eyes and asked him why he was not telling the truth," the father testified. "Paul finally said, 'I did that,' and said he had been molesting the boy for two years. He was crying and his face was all red." • 518-454-5696 • @BobGardinier

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