An Allentown man who made threats against Northampton County Judge Michael Koury on a newspaper's website will not face prosecution.
George Charles had made that remark -- and others -- in a criticism of one of the judge's cases earlier this month on the Morning Call's website.
District Attorney John Morganelli said Monday that although he thinks Charles could successfully be prosecuted for making a terrorstic threats, he will not do so at the request of the judge.
Charles apologized for his remarks soon after making them, another factor that led Morganelli not to prosecute. But he noted that future judges and prosecutors could be less forgiving.
"It is my personal belief that Mr. Charles is sincere in his remorse and regret," Morganelli said in a prepared statement. "With that stated, any individual who in the future uses threatening language will come under the same scrutiny."
On Feb. 8, the Morning Call reported on a ruling by Koury, who had convicted a woman who had already been acquitted by a jury in a drunk driving case.
Charles took issue with this decision, and commented on the story. One of the comments read "...Professional conduct? Meet me anytime behind the courthose and I'll give Koury justice, and it won't be professionally done."
Another said: "...Koury needs to 'get clipped' one night after court's done."
After reading these comments, the judge notified the district attorney's office, which began an investigation.
The incident spilled over onto an Easton area case. George Charles is a cousin of Dennis Charles, an Allentown attorney representing Stephen Sullivan, a former Easton Area Middle School teacher convicted of child pornography charges. When the comments appeared on-line, Koury questioned Dennis Charles about his involvement.
The attorney denied knowing anything about it; Koury later apologized, and recused himself as the judge on the Sullivan case.
Although George Charles is off the hook, Morganelli said he hopes people don't think this gives them license to make threats against public officials.
"What I'm hoping is the public will read this and say 'He could have been charged,'" Morganelli said.