and another 'OOOPS' story

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DKSuddeth, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    Police: DA groped girl, 10
    Witnesses said they saw the Monroe judge-elect touch her at pop concert where he was allegedly drunk.

    By Joe McDonald
    Of The Morning Call

    WILKES-BARRE | Monroe County District Attorney and judge-elect Mark Pazuhanich was charged Friday with groping a 10-year-old girl at a teenage pop star concert last weekend in a downtown theater.

    A security officer and a parent told police they saw Pazuhanich groping the girl in a front row seat during the Hilary Duff concert last Saturday at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Luzerne County District Attorney David W. Lupas said at a news conference.

    Lupas said his office filed two counts of indecent assault, one count of endangering the welfare of children and one count of corruption of minors against Pazuhanich.

    If convicted, Pazuhanich, who is scheduled to be sworn in as Monroe County's newest judge on Dec. 31, faces up to 10 years in prison on the corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child charges, Lupas said. The indecent assault charges carry prison sentences ranging from two to five years.

    The charges were filed on the same day Pazuhanich's lawyer, Marshall Anders of Stroudsburg, disclosed Pazuhanich had checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center. The disclosure followed news accounts that Pazuhanich had not shown up for work in the district attorney's office and no one in his office knew his whereabouts.

    Lupas said Pazuhanich's lawyers are arranging to have Pazuhanich turn himself in to be formally charged and arraigned ''as soon as possible,'' though he did not know when that would happen.

    Pazuhanich will be arraigned before District Justice Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre, Lupas said.

    Lupas said there were about 1,800 people at the concert when Pazuhanich groped the girl, and he asked other witnesses to call his office if they have any information.

    Lupas said the investigation included ''numerous interviews,'' some of which sent investigators ''outside the area.'' He did not elaborate.

    When Lupas was asked for his reaction about criminal charges being filed against a fellow district attorney, Lupas said he doesn't really know Pazuhanich. Lupas also said a person's occupation doesn't really matter in a prosecutor's eyes.

    Pazuhanich entered rehabilitation five days after the concert. As he was leaving the Kirby Center, he was stopped by police and arrested on charges of public drunkenness.

    At Friday's news conference, new details emerged on what led police to approach Pazuhanich that evening. According to court papers:

    A security guard who had been watching Pazuhanich and the girl he allegedly molested followed them on their way out of the building.

    The guard, Anthony Choman, told police he saw Pazuhanich touching the girl during the concert. A woman in the audience, Kelly Geiger, also told police Pazuhanich groped the girl.

    The girl, who was questioned that night by Detective Deborah Van Horn, said Pazuhanich had been ''acting strange'' and kept tickling her throughout the concert, even though she told him to stop. She also said he groped her.

    Pazuhanich's legal problems came at what should have been the peak of his career.

    Last month, he won a hard-fought three-way race to become Monroe County's sixth judge. On the eve of the May primary, members of the Monroe County Bar Association gave Pazuhanich generally low marks for integrity, compared to the ratings they gave to his two opponents.

    The 47-year-old Republican had won two four-year terms as Monroe County district attorney before winning the judgeship.

    Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pazuhanich was a summa cum laude graduate of King's College in 1978. After earning a law degree in 1981 from Columbia University School of Law, he joined the Philadelphia law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and worked there until 1985.

    He then settled in the Poconos, joined the Stroudsburg law firm of Hanna, Young & Upright and became an assistant district attorney in Monroe County from 1987 to 1990.

    Pazuhanich, who was divorced in 1998, has spoken publicly about the help he received from his old Stroudsburg law firm in overcoming personal problems.

    On Friday, Anders referred to those problems when reporters asked where Pazuhanich had gone.

    ''He checked himself in not because of the pending charge, but because of the stress,'' Anders said. ''It was a preventive measure. It's preventive medicine.''

    Anders, in an interview with The Associated Press, said Pazuhanich went into rehabilitation ''so he doesn't have a relapse.''

    ''When do you drink? When you are under stress. He wanted to prevent that,'' Anders said. ''The last thing he needs now is to lose that control.''
     
  2. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    That's disgusting. Put him in a cell with Michael Jackson and let them rot forever.
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    No joke. There's no room on the bench, in the party, or in society for people like that. I have a ten-year-old daughter. If some guy - judge or not, Republican bigwig or not - tried to do that to her, I would beat his ass until 1) he was unconscious and bleeding profusely, or 2) I was physically restrained.
     
  4. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    I agree with you jeff, only I dont think I could stop beating on it until the body was separated from the soul. MJ would be to good for it, gotta be a big bubba type.
     

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