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Perry County MDJ pleads guilty to inappropriate contact with minors, obstruction

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A Perry County magisterial district judge pleaded guilty to inappropriate contact with minors, witness intimidation and obstruction of a sexual misconduct investigation, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday.

Shapiro said Michael Schechterly, 58, of Newport, who is still an judge but will resign his position at the time of sentencing, was charged in November 2020 following an investigation into his misconduct toward children. The investigation by Pennsylvania State Police and the Shapiro’s office found that Schechterly repeatedly engaged in inappropriate contact with minors at his residence.

During the course of the investigation, the State Police also identified two women who made allegations against a state constable working out of Schechterly’s district court office between 2013 and 2020. Shapiro said Schechterly first became aware of the complaints in February 2013 and he used his official power to summon the victim and constable to his office concerning the case, and he maintained jurisdiction over the case until 2015, which hindered her reporting of the incident for nearly six years.

Schechterly pleaded guilty in front of Cumberland County Judge Jessica Brewbaker.

“With this plea, the defendant is taking responsibility for his crimes and will be held accountable. This case serves as a reminder that no one, no matter their position of power, is above the law,” Shapiro said. “My office will continue to investigate and prosecute anyone who abuses their authority to harm Pennsylvanians.”

Email Naomi Creason at ncreason@cumberlink.com or follow her on Twitter @SentinelCreason

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