On Sunday, we reported that the district judge who freed accused child rapist Jerry Sandusky on $100,000 unsecured bail, Centre County's Leslie Dutchcot, was a volunteer at Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile. A criminal attorney in central Pennsylvania sent an email in response (he asked that we not use his name):
I just read your post on DJ Dutchcot granting Sandusky unsecured bail. I practice criminal law in Central PA, which I really can't imagine is much different than Centre County/State College. I have represented multiple people charged with the same or similar counts that are against Sandusky.
I have never had a client who was charged with those counts released on unsecured bail. The fact is that the charges carry such heavy penalties that monetary bail is always required as a way to prevent people from skipping out on the case. He is facing state charges that carry mandatory minimums of ten year sentences. If he is found guilty or pleads guilty to those counts the Judge has no discretion and must sentence him to a minimum of ten years incarceration.
The fact that this Judge granted unsecured bail on such a serious case coupled with the fact that she was a volunteer for second mile does not look good at all. The entire purpose of having a Judge is to have someone who is impartial. I would like to know if she has granted unsecured bail in the past for people charged with similar crimes. She clearly should have recused herself though. It's not a difficult process and it happens all the time.