BEDFORD - The nearly 2-year-old case against Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins will move next to the state Superior Court.
The attorney for a woman who claims that Higgins raped her in his courthouse office in July 2008 filed an appeal this week on a decision made by Senior Judge Charles Brown of Centre County.
Last month, Brown, appointed to the case after both Bedford County judges recused themselves, denied a motion by Attorney Thomas Crawford of Pittsburgh to reconsider the private criminal complaint investigated by the office of Attorney General Tom Corbett last year.
In his decision, Brown stated that there was insufficient evidence to prove the attorney general did not perform an adequate investigation nor were Crawford and his client privy to the investigation materials.
On Friday, Crawford said there were "several issues" with Brown's ruling, including being unable to see the investigation materials and not having a hearing to prove that Higgins and Corbett are "good buddies."
In addition, Crawford said, there is probable cause to show that a crime did take place.
"If a victim says 'Mr. Higgins had sex with me' and she says 'I did not consent,' that's probable cause," Crawford said. "This is not rocket science stuff."
The woman alleges that she drank with Higgins at the Carriage House restaurant at a Republican committee meeting before she met with him at his office a few miles away. The woman claimed that she was highly intoxicated and could not remember anything that took place.
Higgins has maintained that the sex was consensual.
The appeal process could take eight months or longer, Crawford said, which would include an argument in Pittsburgh courts.
Higgins said the continued motions by Crawford show the attorney's "personal vendetta" against him.
"It's pathetic and desperate," Higgins said. "His life is consumed with settling a score with me because I've been so successful in convicting his clients."
Higgins said that what he did was wrong but that he and his loved ones have moved on and grown from the situation.
"My family and friends have put this in the past and I've moved on and I encourage them to do the same," Higgins said.