Former county commissioner accused of rape pleads not guilty

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The former Erie County Commissioner of the Department of Social Services accused of rape pleaded not guilty in Albany County Court on Monday.

According to an unsealed indictment, Albert Dirschberger, 53, of Lancaster, N.Y., was accused of engaging in sex with a former staff member without her consent during the late evening of December 5 and December 6, 2017. The woman and Dirschberger, who knew each other, were in Albany on a business trip.

They were staying at the Renaissance Hotel when the alleged incident took place.

Dirschberger was charged with one count of third-degree rape and one count of third-degree criminal sexual act.

“I can tell you that Dirschberger did not participant in any non-consented to acts. Anything that happened was absolutely consented to. One thing we are certain of is that regret does not make a case of rape,” James Knox, Dirschberger’s defense attorney, said.

Bail was set at $5,000.

No new appearance dates have been scheduled at this time.

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