Former N.Y. dispatcher, FF who admitted assaulting coworkers, gets prison time

Brett A. Rider assaulted three female dispatchers; Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger called his on-duty behavior inappropriate and sexually harassing


Harold Mcneil
The Buffalo News, N.Y.

TONAWANDA, N.Y. — A former Town of Tonawanda emergency dispatcher who admitted to sex crimes against co-workers was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison to be followed by another 10 years of post-release supervision.

Brett A. Rider, 48, of Kenmore also will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison under the sentence handed down by State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges.

In what Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger has described as a sad chapter in the town's history, Rider engaged in a pattern of sexual assault and harassment against female co-workers. His actions included inappropriate, sexually harassing behavior while on duty as an acting dispatch supervisor for the town's police department. While he was off-duty, Rider sexually assaulted three female dispatchers in the town police force.

He pleaded guilty on March 24 to two counts of first-degree attempted rape and one count of first-degree sexual abuse, both violent felonies.

For years, Rider worked as an emergency dispatcher and acting dispatch supervisor for the town. The Tonawanda Town Board suspended him in August 2020 and then fired him the following month.

Rider admitted engaging in sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion with one victim in September 2009.

He admitted forcibly touching a second victim in June 2017 in an office he had at a fire-equipment company in the town. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. said Rider was allowed the use of the office because of his position as a volunteer firefighter.

Rider also admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion with a third victim in November 2019.

Two of the women filed a civil lawsuit last summer against Rider and town police, accusing Rider of making leering comments about their bodies, exposing them to pornographic images and repeatedly propositioning them for sex, among other misconduct.

Haendiges on Tuesday signed final no-contact orders of protection on behalf of the three victims.

Initially, Rider faced numerous counts of predatory sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse and other charges that could have resulted in a prison sentence of life. But evidentiary concerns and the victims' desire to avoid testifying prompted Flynn to accept a plea deal.

Rider has been in custody since he was charged in November 2020. He remains held without bail, and the time he has spent in jail since his indictment will count toward the service of his sentence.

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(c)2022 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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