BILL HIGGINS IN AS PREVIOUSLY DEPICTED IN DOWNTOWN COUNTY MURAL, PRIOR TO CONVICTION & SENTENCING FOR SEXUAL PREDATION
In the same way that Centre County removed Jerry Sandusky from the mural across from the Deli Restuarant, Bedford County is also reeling from the crimes and betrayals of Bill Higgins.
A Bedford County confidential informant and former county employee recently provided the before and after pictures.
The muralist was specifically asked to remove Bill Higgins, as they do not want his legacy of sexual assault to be painted into a mural depicting their county’s history.
And no wonder, after 21 misdemeanors (which should have been felonies) and no jail time.
Former female victims continue to come forward with their stories. I’ve corresponded with a number of them. They all pretty much tell the same story, they were offered the opportunity to sexually please Bill Higgins and in return, he offered a reduced jail sentence or no jail sentence.
No wonder this county would like that sort of blemish removed from a mural depicting this county’s history.
But like painting over Sandusky, erasing the image does not erase the history. The victims, which are still coming out of the woodwork, will still have to come to grips with what happened to them at the hands of this very powerful and crooked man.
ERASING SEXUAL TRAUMA AFTER ASSAULT, BILL HIGGINS PAINTED OVER AND REMOVED FROM HISTORY
The women from this county will not be able to erase history, but removing reminders of this ugly part of Bedford County history from public display, perhaps paves the road to healing.
Higgins was convicted this year of using his office to sexually extort vulnerable criminal defendants in exchange for plea bargains and reduced jail sentences. He was arrested, and offered a plea bargain (on same day arrested) that involved no jail time. As one of the hardest charging, and toughest on crime prosecutors in the state, he would have never accepted this resolution if he had been the one prosecuting himself.
Higgins remains defiant to the point of taking to the news and declaring he will soon be getting his law license back. Insiders and county informants (including victims) stated Higgins has expressed his intentions to run for Bedford County District Attorney again, (in spite of his criminal conviction and loss of law license).
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro promised the Pennsylvania public that Mr. Higgins would “never practice law again.” Despite that assertion, a week after Bill Higgins was sentenced, the front page of the Bedford paper informed that Higgins was gloating his license would be reinstated as soon as his probation was over.
Despite signing a closed-door plea bargain on the same day of his arrest, Higgins took to the news later that day and proclaimed his innocence. When criminal defendants sign a plea bargains, it is an admission of guilt.
For example, the infamous Jodi Arias signed a plea bargain after murdering Travis Alexander which removed the death penalty from the table and gave her life in prison for her admission of guilt. She later went on 20/20 and did an in-person interview, wherein she claimed her innocence after signing the plea deal.
The Judge, and prosecutor, watched Arias’ performance with horror, and immediately revoked her plea bargain, so that she was again facing the death penalty.
Despite Bill Higgins obstinance in admitting his guilt (after signing plea deal), he was sentenced to the terms and condition in the plea deal. He still walks about proclaiming his innocence.
Now on probation, he presently mops floors and operates the grease fryer at “Bad Boyz Bistro.” BEDFORD COUNTY: Update on Bill Higgins, Works at diner operating fryer and mopping floors. Slogan of Diner? “Are you bad enough?” Too FUNNY!
What an ugly piece of Bedford County history. Erasing his face from the county mural will not heal the survivors of sexual assault, just like erasing Jerry Sandusky’s face did not heal the survivors of sexual assault in Centre County. The shame of sexual abuse never goes away, but a mountain of community support can ease the process. Clearly Bedford County is ready to “paint over” this ugly little blemish on the past; but I hope that the recognize that the problems and trauma Higgins left on their small little warm community won’t be healed overnight. And I hope they realize that while painting over a face to remove it from public view is valiant, there is plenty of work to be done.
Interim District Attorney Leslie Childers-Potts has expressed her intentions to run for permanent office. As a third party who cannot vote in Bedford County, I want to say that Childers-Potts makes me particularly uncomfortable. She was Higgins right hand in the leadership chain of command, and likely knowledgable as well as complicit in seeing the continued sexual predation go on in the office. Insiders within Bedford County courts have written me to tell me that Childers-Potts was not only knowledgable, but purported to have personally engaged in an illicit sexual relationship with Higgins herself. Now I stand with sexual assault survivors in Bedford County, and I ask a very serious and frank question: Is this truly who you want in office?
If nothing else, Childers-Potts lacked the moral fiber to blow the whistle and stop these flagrant abuses. That is at best. At worst, she engaged in a sexual relationship with him herself to further her career (if the courthouse staff rumors are true). Now these might just be little rumors. Still, when I heard the initial rumors of Higgins I wasn’t immediately inclined to believe the courthouse staff. Yet the rumors turned into a criminal conviction, so I now take these fearful whispers with some level of seriousness. There is an old saying: “where there is smoke, there is fire.”
My instinct now is to believe what I am hearing as I have heard this all play out before, and the little whispers have come to fruition of truth. For that reason, I would urge Bedford County to make sure NOT to vote for Childers-Potts. If an assistant district attorney does not have the moral character, caliber or fiber to blow the whistle on flagrant abuses, what makes you think she is going to look after your interests if she gets the PRIVILEDGE of being elected into office?
This painting over Higgins face was a highly symbolic gesture by the county, acknowledging the pain and suffering of the survivors, I hope resonated with those survivors. As in the county acknowledged the injustice that happened to them, and are supportive while they heal.