Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State University defensive coordinator under now-former head coach Joe Paterno, turned himself into authorities on November 5 after being indicted on 40 counts of sexual child abuse against young boys. He was released by District Judge Leslie Dutchcot on $100,000 unsecured bail, meaning that he would only have to pay the bail if he failed to show up for court. Sandusky was also ordered to not have any contact with children.
At a preliminary arraignment, officials with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office originally requested a $500,000 bail for Sandusky and a leg monitor for him to wear, based on the possibility that he could eventually serve life in prison for the crimes if convicted.
A look into District Judge Dutchcot’s attorney profile shows that she currently serves as a volunteer for the Second Mile Foundation, the charity set up by Sandusky in 1977 in State College, PA to provide care for foster children.
On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with an attorney or judge or state official sitting on the board or volunteering for a local charity. However, the fact that Judge Dutchcot is said volunteer to a charity a defendant in her court founded, she should have definitely recused herself from being involved with Sandusky’s case as to avoid a conflict of interest – especially when she releases him from jail on a favorable bond.