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Christopher Lee Wants Evidence Suppressed, Separate Trials

by on May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

New court documents filed in the Christopher Lee child sex case seek to have some of the evidence barred from trial.

There is also an attempt to break the case into two separate parts.

A motion, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by Lee's attorney Kyle Rude, claims evidence was collected by prosecutors as the result of an "illegally issued search warrant."

Lee, who served as a Harris Township supervisor, was indicted on Oct. 1, 2014.

He was eventually charged with multiple counts, including enticement of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity, receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography, production of child pornography and tampering with evidence.

In the latest court documents, Lee's attorney challenges the issuance of a second search warrant in the case. Rude claims that the first search warrant was issued so investigators could obtain emails and an audio recording that Lee allegedly played in the presence of a minor.

Rude says an agent found a video that appeared to contain child pornography, leading to that second search warrant. However Rude says the decision to issue the second search warrant was wrong -- because the individual in the video was merely "suspected" of being under the age of 18.

Rude argues that evidence collected under the second search warrant and a third search warrant were the "fruit of a poisonous tree," and should be suppressed.

Further, Rude argues the case breaks down into "two separate and distinct crimes." One part involves the allegations of enticing and transporting a minor and the other part centers around the use or discussion of child pornography.

According to Rude, "Allowing the jury to see the multiple pictures and videos, Mr. Lee believes, will result in substantial prejudice." He says Lee may choose to testify about charges involving enticing and transporting a minor but not about receiving and possessing child pornography. Therefore, he's asking that those charges be tried separately.

Rude has previously told StateCollege.com that Lee "maintains his innocence" and looks forward to being exonerated.

Lee was originally scheduled for a trial last December, but prosecutors asked the court to push that date back so they could have more time to examine evidence and prepare. The trial is now scheduled to begion on June 1.

Lee, who was also the president and CEO of the Boal Mansion Museum, was arrested at his home in Boalsburg after a joint investigation involving State College police and the FBI.

Investigators say they had received a report that a 17-year-old male from a foreign country was allegedly indecently assaulted by Lee last summer. That incident allegedly took place the first night the teenager was staying at Lee's residence while visiting to work at the Boal Mansion.

Lee was also charged with misdemeanor indecent assault of a minor in 2005, but entered Pennsylvania's accelerated rehabilitative disposition program and was never convicted.

 

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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