Crime

Boal Mansion CEO Christopher Lee denied bail

Harris Township Supervisor Christopher Lee is in custody after federal charges of child pornography and child exploitation were filed.
Harris Township Supervisor Christopher Lee is in custody after federal charges of child pornography and child exploitation were filed. CDT photo

A federal judge ruled Monday that Christopher Lee will remain in custody before going to trial.

Lee, clad in an orange and white striped jumpsuit and seated next to attorney Kyle Rude, was present at the hearing at the federal courthouse in Williamsport.

Rude argued that the Boalsburg resident was not a flight risk because he didn’t flee when he had opportunities before being taken into custody in October.

He also pointed to strong community ties, such as Lee’s position as CEO of Boal Mansion and as a Harris Township supervisor, as reasons he would not run.

“This is a person that has devoted his life to public service in central Pennsylvania,” Rude said.

Rude also said Lee is not a danger to society, arguing that, although Lee was accepted into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program in 2005 for other charges involving minors, he had no other criminal activity on his record.

The person Lee allegedly assaulted in the current case is no longer in the country, Rude said, and Lee cooperated with authorities in both cases.

If released, Lee agreed to be subject to electronic monitoring, surrender his passport, check in with law enforcement and other measures the court saw fit to ensure his compliance, Rude said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Taylor countered that Lee presents a flight risk and a danger, pointing to the facts Lee has relatives living abroad and the means to travel. She also cited evidence in the case.

The FBI conducted a search of Lee’s home after he was arrested and found flash drives that contained images and narratives of child pornography, Taylor said. Analysis showed both were placed on the drives after the initial search of Lee’s home earlier in the year, she said.

“He was aware he was being investigated and that was not a deterrent to him,” Taylor said.

Lee has been in custody since Oct. 2 and is charged with using facilities in interstate commerce to entice or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity and possession and receipt of child pornography, according to the Department of Justice.

At the end of the proceeding, federal Judge Matthew Brann ruled that there was no condition that would guarantee safety of the community or ensure that Lee would not run.

“I order that you be detained in this case pending trial,” Brann said.

A trial date is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Williamsport.

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