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Milton man convicted of raping estranged wife, launching kidnapping plot

A Milton man was convicted Thursday of raping his estranged wife in 2017 and of violating restraining orders by launching a kidnapping plot that included drawing a map so she could be captured while leaving work, according to court records and Norfolk prosecutors.

Bernard Sigh, the ex-brother-in-law of former governor Deval Patrick, was convicted on nine charges by a Norfolk Superior Court jury after one day of deliberations. The charges included two counts of rape, kidnapping, and two counts of violating a restraining order.

Sentencing was set for June 24 before Superior Court Judge Robert C. Cosgrove.

“Despite the added pressure surrounding this case, among other barriers, this victim demonstrated great courage and resolve in pushing through to today’s resolution,” Morrissey said. “Not every sexual assault or domestic violence victim is positioned to endure the burdens our system places on them — this victim deserves our support and gratitude.”

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According to court records, the victim and Sigh were married for 30 years but chose to end their marriage in 2017. They shared an apartment on a part-time basis — only one would be in the house at a time — and Sigh told the victim he was not going to be home on Dec. 10, 2017.

Sigh, wearing just his underwear, was hiding in a closet and grabbed the victim as she tried to run out of the apartment, according to court records. He covered her mouth to silence her screams, and he prevented her from triggering a home alarm.

Fearful for her life, she engaged in a conversation with Sigh about their relationship and was subsequently raped by Sigh, according to a prosecutor’s account of the evidence against Sigh. The woman told Milton police what happened, leading to Sigh’s arrest.

The woman obtained restraining orders against Sigh, and while they were in effect, Sigh asked a mutual friend to prevent her from parking at her usual spot at a church so he could gain access to her. He also, in a separate incident, asked an acquaintance to find two people to kidnap the victim and bring her to him, according to court records.

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During his conversation with the acquaintance, Sigh drew a map of the area around the victim’s workplace and urged whoever agreed to kidnap the “package” — as he referred to his former wife — to wear gloves to frustrate law enforcement.

Sigh was married to Patrick’s sister, the Globe has reported.

While in office, Patrick fired the then-chairwoman of the state Sex Offender Registry Board, Saundra Edwards, because she questioned why Sigh was not required to register with the board because he pleaded guilty to raping the victim in California in 1993, the Globe has reported.

Edwards’s defamation suit against Patrick is pending in Essex Superior Court, according to court records.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.