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Former social services commissioner sentenced to five years for rape

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Erie County's former social services commissioner was sentenced to five years in state prison Friday for raping a female subordinate at an Albany hotel in December 2017.

The sentence was handed down in Albany County Court to Al Dirschberger, 55, of Lancaster, who was found guilty of raping a 28-year-old co-worker during a business trip to the state capital on December 5 and 6, 2017.

Dirschberger was found guilty by a jury on March 1 on one count of third-degree rape and one count of a third-degree criminal sexual act, both felonies, after a week-long trial.

The former commissioner and the female subordinate were attending a conference in Albany at the time of the rape. According to testimony from the trial, both had been drinking heavily the night in question. The victim said she did not consent while Dirschberger maintained his innocence, insisting the sex was consensual.

Along with the prison term, Dirschberger was given 10 years of post-release supervision.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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