Breaking News
More () »

Former Perry County judge suspended by PA Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board

Michael E. Schechterly, 58, of Newport, pleaded guilty last year to inappropriate contact with a minor and other offenses.
Credit: Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General
Michael Schechterly

NEWPORT, Pa. — A magisterial district judge from Perry County who pleaded guilty last year to to charges of inappropriate contact with a minor has been temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Disciplinary Board.

Michael E. Schechterly, 58, of Newport, pleaded guilty last year to inappropriate contact with a minor, intimidating a witness, and obstructing an investigation of sexual misconduct by a state constable in separate incidents dating back to 2012 and 2013.

He resigned his position as part of the plea arrangement, but the Disciplinary Board said Wednesday a temporary suspension will remain in place "until further action by the Court, effective April 22."

An investigation conducted by the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro revealed that Schechterly repeatedly engaged in inappropriate contact with minors at his residence.

Investigators who interviewed witnesses determined that Schecterly regularly brought children into his district court office and home, Shapiro said. Schecterly 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 Schecterly allegedly sexually assaulted the victim his residence in 2012, Shapiro said.

On another occasion, a witness reported that Schecterly touched his own genitals in the presence of the child, according to Shapiro.

During the course of 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, according to Shapiro.

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, Shapiro said. 

A second woman subsequently alleged that the constable came to her home and assaulted her, according to Shapiro.

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.

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, Shapiro said.

Download the FOX43 app

Before You Leave, Check This Out