Deval Patrick’s brother-in-law held on sexual assault charges

BOSTON (WHDH) - The brother-in-law of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appeared in court Thursday and was ordered held without bail on sexual assault charges.

Bernard Sigh, 65, was escorted into court in handcuffs to face charges of sexually assaulting a family member.

Prosecutors say the alleged assault happened this past weekend in a Milton apartment. They say a woman returned home thinking she was alone in the apartment, Sigh was hiding inside.

“He waited for her in a closet in his underwear. He then prevented her from leaving the apartment,” Prosecutor Elizabeth McLaughlin said. “He stopped her from screaming for help by covering her mouth. He prevented her from hitting the security or panic button in their apartment building. He then barricaded her in.”

Sigh’s attorney argued that the two had consensual sex.

“He, after, the next morning made her breakfast and cleared the snow off her car, which is actually aiding in her leaving the apartment at that time,” Christie O’Rourke said. “So, he’s not trying to keep her there against her will.”

Almost 25 years ago, Sigh was convicted of raping a family member in California and served four months behind bars.

In Massachusetts, Sigh made headlines about ten years ago when he moved here and fought to stay off the state’s sex offender registry. That case drew extra attention because of his ties to Patrick.

At Thursday’s hearing, the judge said he ordered Sigh held without bail because Sigh’s coffee cup was allegedly found in the victim’s closet.

Prosecutors are working to bring additional charges against Sigh, including witness intimidation, rape and kidnapping.

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