Perry County judge pleads guilty to inappropriate contact with minors

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Judge Michael Schechterly

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Perry County judge has pleaded guilty to charges of inappropriate contact with minors. Magisterial District Judge Michael Schechterly also pleaded guilty to intimidating a witness and obstructing an investigation of sexual misconduct by a state constable.

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“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,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “My office will continue to investigate and prosecute anyone who abuses their authority to harm Pennsylvanians.”

Schechterly, a 58-year-old Newport resident, was charged in November 2020 following a Pennsylvania State Police investigation into his misconduct towards children. The investigation revealed that he did engage in misconduct towards minors at his residence, according to a press release from the office of the attorney general.

During the investigation, 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.

The press release from the attorney general’s office states: “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. As a Perry County Magisterial District Judge, he maintained jurisdiction over her case until 2015, which denied the victim the opportunity to come forward, and hindered her reporting of the incident for nearly six years.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye. Schechterly pleaded guilty to Corruption of Minors, Intimidation of a Witness or Victim, Official Oppression, and Obstruction of Justice. He will resign as judge at the time of his sentencing.

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