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Corkery wants a trial

Published October 25. 2011 05:01PM

Coaldale Mayor Richard Corkery has backed out of his stipulation to plead guilty to 28 counts of downloading child pornography and now wants to go to trial.

Corkery, 72, of 249 Early Ave., through his attorney, Nicholas Quinn, of Pottsville, filed a motion to vacate the stipulation he filed with the Carbon County's District Attorney's office.

The motion was not opposed by the DA's office and was granted on Oct. 18 by Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Corkery must know appear on Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. for a pretrial conference in the DA's office. Trial in the matter would probably be scheduled for early next year.

Corkery is accused of downloading sexually explicit images of boys on a computer he used while employed at radio station WLSH. The station lies within Nesquehoning. Corkery was fired by the station when the allegations came to light.

Nesquehoning Police Chief Sean Smith began an investigation that led to the charges.

In his affidavit of probable cause Smith alleges that Corkery downloaded the images on six days between Feb. 15 and March 28. Corkery, according to the affidavit, admitted to police that he had searched for sexual images of teenage boys on the computer, and downloaded 34 images of young men engaged in sexual acts, 28 of whom were determined by police experts to be teenagers.

Smith received a tip about the downloading and began an investigation on April 6. On May 16, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent John Bates, state Trooper Scott Sotack and Smith spoke with Corkery. The affidavit alleges Corkery admitted searching for and looking at child pornography sites, including those showing images of naked males under age 18.

Corkery was scheduled to enter a guilty plea to all pending counts today before Serfass. But that guilty plea proceeding was canceled by the court when it granted the vacating of the stipulation.

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