- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A museum official wants to have separate trials on the child sex and child pornography charges he faces, saying one charge doesn’t have anything to do with the other.

Christopher G. Lee, 66, is the CEO of the Boal Mansion Museum in Boalsburg, about 140 miles east of Pittsburgh. The homestead commemorates the Boal family, which founded the town where the museum is located, and the Farmers High School, which eventually became Penn State University.

He’s been jailed since October on charges he enticed a 17-year-old girl to cross state lines to have sex with him on the museum’s premises, where students from across the United States and other countries volunteer to work as guides. He’s also charged with possessing child pornography found on computers as authorities investigated the sexual enticement charges.

His attorney, Kyle Rude, said in a motion filed last month that trying the cases together would unfairly prejudice Lee.

Among other things, Rude contends the two sets of offenses are “not factually interrelated” and “the allegations of the minor does not involve use of child pornography in attempts to entice,” Rude wrote.

The defense attorney also argues that if the allegations are tried together, it could affect Lee’s decision on whether to testify on his own behalf and, therefore, violate his rights to a fair trial and to not incriminate himself.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport has given federal prosecutors until Tuesday to respond to Lee’s motion for separate trials. For now, one trial remains scheduled to begin Feb. 2.

Lee is charged with using phone and computer communications to coerce the 17-year-old to travel across state lines to have sex and with receiving unspecified child pornography, including images of children younger than 12. The 17-year-old accuser first contacted State College police about Lee, saying their sexual encounter occurred the first night she stayed at the Boal Mansion last year.

Lee faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted of the interstate transportation charge and five years to life on the child pornography charges.


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