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Press Release

AG Shapiro Charges Perry County District Judge With Indecent Assault of a 12 Year Old Child

November 2, 2020 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced charges against a Perry County Magisterial District Judge for allegedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old child.

“Serious allegations show this judge violated the trust that the citizens of Perry County placed in him by sexually abusing a little boy,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “There may be other victims. If you have any information about Michael Schechterly, please call the Pennsylvania State Police hotline at 717-881-6937. We will hold the powerful and well-connected accountable to law just like everyone else. My office will investigate and prosecute anyone who abuses their authority to harm Pennsylvanians, no matter what position of power they may hold.”

Michael Schechterly, 58, of Newport in Perry County, was taken into custody following an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police in cooperation with the Office of Attorney General. He is charged with Unlawful Contact with Children, Corruption of Minors, and Indecent Assault.

“Protecting our children is of the utmost importance,” said Captain Matthew Nickey, commander of the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop H, Harrisburg. “The citizens we serve can be reassured that the Pennsylvania State Police work tirelessly to provide a fair and complete investigation. I would like to thank all of the agencies who assisted in this case.”

Schechterly was elected to serve as a magisterial district judge in 2011, and had established an active role in his community. However, concerns from community members regarding Schechterly’s contact with children triggered an investigation by the State Police. Investigators who interviewed witnesses determined that Schechterly regularly brought children into his district court office and home. Schechterly made contact with many children through a program in his church known as the “Royal Rangers” where he served as “Commander Mike.”

The investigation revealed that Schechterly allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy at his residence in 2012. On another occasion, a witness reported that Schechterly touched his own genitals in the presence of the child.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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