Former Old Forge Police Chief Being Released on Bail

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A former Lackawanna County police chief, who was once convicted of corruption of minors, is getting out of prison Thursday.

A judge determined former Old Forge Police Chief Larry Semenza should be allowed bail as he waits for a new trial.

A bail hearing for Semenza was held Thursday afternoon at the Lackawanna County courthouse.

After the Pennsylvania Superior Court overturned his conviction last month, Semenza became eligible for release.

Semenza was convicted of corruption of minors and failure to report child abuse in 2013 after county prosecutors say he had inappropriate contact with a minor.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court overturned that conviction.

The court said the trial judge improperly allowed jurors to hear some testimony.

Semenza was sentenced to between 18 months to four years in prison.

He had already served 20 months behind bars.

While Semenza now awaits a new trial a judge said he should be free on $15,000 unsecured bail since he didn’t miss any court appearances along the way in his first case.

“Mr. Semenza complied with every bail condition that was set before him before the trial when he faced harsher charges and a harsher sentence. Now, whatever happens, happens,” defenst attorney Robert Buttner said.

“We feel confident about our case. We have always said we’re going to follow the evidence where it leads and it has led us this far and we believe in our case and if we have to go forward with a re-trial, we will,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer McCambridge said.

Prosecutors say they have petitioned the Pennsylvania Superior Court to reconsider its decision to give Semenza a new trial.

There is no word on when the court will rule on that request.

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