Judge gives prosecution more time on Christopher Lee motion

Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee

Harris Township Supervisor Christopher Lee will have to wait another week to find out what will be happening with his federal criminal case.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Peter Smith filed an unopposed motion in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, asking for an extension on responding to defense attorney Kyle Rude’s request to sever the case into two smaller pieces.

Lee, 66, of Boalsburg, is also the CEO of Boal Mansion and Columbus Chapel, which gave opportunities for student docents age 14 and older to volunteer at the historic estate. He was indicted by a grand jury and arrested in October on charges of child pornography, coercion and enticement of a minor.

On Dec. 19, Rude asked to have the government’s case cleaved, with pornography charges tried separately, saying they were “not factually interrelated” to the remaining counts. Rude said in court documents that evidence in the child pornography charges was discovered through different search warrants and investigations from the charges of coercion and enticement and transportation of minors. He also stressed that one trial could prejudice the jury.

Smith asked for a one-week continuance in responding to the argument because holidays and vacations complicated the timeline.

Judge Matthew Brann granted the request, giving the government until Jan. 13 to file a response.

Lee’s trial is on the calendar for Feb. 2 at the federal courthouse in Williamsport.