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Judge to Christopher Lee: still no bail

Christopher Lee is still not getting bail.

The former Harris Township supervisor and ex-CEO of the Boal Mansion, charged with coercion and enticement, transportation of minors, the receipt, possession and production of child pornography and tampering with evidence, petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania this week to be released from prison pending trial.

On Friday, Judge Matthew Brann said no.

Lee’s attorney, Kyle Rude, has argued several times since Lee’s October 2014 arrest that his client should be permitted bail, a request that has been repeatedly denied. The most recent requests have involved Lee’s health.

Rude claimed that Lee’s health has deteriorated during his year of incarceration at Columbia County Prison. He cited Lee’s vertigo and issues with his diet and exercise needs that were not able to be accommodated in custody.

“... While these circumstances are unfortunate and regrettable, the parties and this court have worked diligently to move this case forward, and the defendant has provided no new evidence on the conditions or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure his appearance at trial and, importantly, the safety of the community,” Brann wrote.

Rude had written in his motion that Lee “respectfully submits that he is not a flight risk nor a danger to the community that he has benefited from his hard work and charitable contributions. He added that Lee was willing to surrender his passport, traveling only between Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and suggested intensive supervision and electronic monitoring.

Lee was previously charged with indecent assault, corruption of minors and harassment in 2005. Those charges involved two children, aged 8 and 10, and were resolved by then-Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira with a recommendation for accelerated rehabilitative disposition program, a kind of probation that results in an expunged record when completed satisfactorily. Lee’s criminal record was later expunged after completing ARD.

A status conference for the case is set for Oct. 29 in Williamsburg. There is no trial date at this time. The case was originally slated for trial in December 2014 but has been continued or had charges added several times.

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