PITTSFIELD -- An Adams man is being held in jail on $1 million bail following his arraignment Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court for aggravated rape and other charges after he was picked up on a warrant on the other side of the country.
Jeffrey S. Vigiard, 39, of Spring Street, is accused of breaking into a 20-year-old woman’s home in Pittsfield in the early morning of March 24 and raping her in her bedroom where her small child also was sleeping. The rape allegedly occurred just hours after Vigiard was released from jail across the border in New York, where he had been serving time on larceny charges.
According to Second Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert W. Kinzer III, Vigiard fled the state afterward. While the victim was unable to identify her attacker, DNA from the crime scene was matched to Vigiard’s through a DNA data bank in May, Kinzer told the court.
Vigiard was arrested in San Francisco on July 20 and arrived in Berkshire County on Tuesday night, Kinzer said.
On Wednesday, Vigiard initially refused to leave the holding cell at the courthouse, apparently because the victim’s family members who were present had allegedly threatened him. Vigiard eventually went before Judge Mary Lou Rup after she told those in court to refrain from commenting or threatening others.
Vigiard mumbled that he didn’t commit the crime as he was led by court security to his seat.
Vigiard pleaded not guilty to single counts of aggravated rape, witness intimidation, burglary assault on an occupant, and breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony.
Kinzer asked for $1 million bail, citing the defendant’s long record and his propensity to flee the state. Donohue called the bail "excessive" and told the court he had represented Vigiard before and that he always showed up for court.
The judge ordered Vigiard be held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $1 million cash or surety bail. He is being held in a segregated unit.
He will be back in court Feb. 15 for a pretrial hearing.
Donohue asked for a mental health evaluation for his client to determine whether he was competent to stand trial.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department. The lead detective in the case is Nicholas DeSantis.