AG Shapiro Files Additional Charges Against Perry County District Judge

June 4, 2021 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that a Perry County Magisterial District Judge previously charged with the indecent assault of a 12-year-old boy has been charged with intimidating a witness in the investigation of sexual misconduct by a state constable.

“Michael Schechterly used his authority as a judge to obstruct a police investigation and intimidate a witness, rather than serve his community and the people who trusted him,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office is committed to seeking justice for victims and uncovering public corruption–wherever it’s found.”

Michael Schechterly, who had previously been charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in his home, now faces additional charges of intimidation, obstruction and official oppression for using his authority as a judge to intimidate a woman who was both a witness and an alleged victim in a State Police investigation of a state constable in 2013. These allegations were discovered during the course of the 2020 investigation into Schecterly’s misconduct towards children. State Police investigators identified two women who made allegations against a state constable working out of Schechterly’s district court office between 2013 and 2020.

One of the victims alleged that the constable had made lewd comments to her while serving court papers in 2013 in an attempt to trade sexual services for official action. A second woman subsequently alleged that the constable came to her home and assaulted her. The 2013 victim had withheld valuable information from investigators due to Schechterly’s actions.

Investigators learned that in February 2013, Schechterly became aware of complaints against the constable. Schechterly used his official power to summon the first victim and the constable to his office concerning a case over which he had jurisdiction. The victim stated Schechterly threatened her, in the presence of the constable, with criminal charges for false reports if she spoke out about the constable’s conduct. He maintained jurisdiction over her case until 2015, and continued to serve a judge in her community, which denied the victim the opportunity to come forward. This hindered her reporting of the incident for nearly six years.

Schechterly is being charged with Intimidation of a Witness or Victim, Obstruction of Justice, and Official Oppression. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye. All charges are accusations, and the defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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