Pennsylvania Judge Arrested for Child Sexual Abuse is Volunteer with Religious Youth Program, SNAP Calls for Outreach
A judge from Pennsylvania who was recently arrested for child sexual abuse is apparently a leader for a religious children’s group. Now we call on church and group leaders to ensure that they investigate whether or not any children from their program were groomed or hurt by the judge.
Michael Schechterly, a judge for the Perry County Magisterial District in Pennsylvania, was arrested yesterday for sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy at his home in 2012. We are especially concerned with this case because it has been revealed that Schechterly is a leader for a local Royal Rangers group, a youth group that is similar to the Boy and Girl Scouts and that is run out of a local church in Newport. We know that most abusers have more than one victim and that abusers seek out roles that will give them access to their victims.
We believe that national and local Rangers staff should use every resource they have in order to ensure that every parent that ever participated in the Rangers program during Schechterly’s tenure is informed of the allegations. Most child sexual abuse cases are not reported until years later, and it is possible that there are hidden victims who are dealing with the trauma of child sexual abuse on their own. Given that multiple incidents of abuse and grooming behavior have been reported, we strongly believe there are more victims. We hope that Rangers staff are doing everything they can to ensure their children are safe and that parents and communities are informed.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)