MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TWP., Pa. - A former boys choir founder and director is facing additional charges of child sexual abuse after a search warrant conducted by police.
Kenneth Schade was taken into custody last month on charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and statutory sexual assault, state police said.
Schade, 74, of Wind Gap, Northampton Co., is accused of raping a teenage boy more than two decades ago when Schade was 57-years-old and running the Singing Boys Choir of Pennsylvania, a group he founded in 1970.
State police investigators searched Schade's home on Marshalls Creek Road in East Stroudsburg on April 1 after a phone call Schade made from jail.
Before the search warrant was executed, Schade was being held in the Monroe County Correctional Facility, and as an inmate, he was made aware his phone calls are recorded and monitored.
Schade called his neighbor, Shari Revilla, and asked her to remove two locked suitcases from his house and keep them in a safe place, police said.
He told her he didn't want people coming into his house and searching through his personal things, according to court documents.
Police contacted Revilla, who turned over the suitcases. When police opened the locked suitcases, they discovered multiple articles of pornographic materials , including 1,101 pornographic pictures of children under the age of 18, officials said.
"I think he knew. He must have known it would be eventually found and this was his last effort to attempt and hide the evidence," said Leonard French, a former choir member.
As a result of the search, police added charges of criminal solicitation, tampering with physical evidence and 1,101 counts of sexual abuse of children for possession of child pornography, according to a news release issued Monday.
Phil Lauer, Schade's attorney, told 69News, "With respect to newly filed charges, there is a lot more investigation that needs to be done regarding the source of this material and its ownership. What I can tell you, is that I continue to hear on a daily basis from former choir members who are calling to support Dr. Schade. It is a difficult time for him and for those who have been through the choir. Almost 4,000 boys have gone through the choir program and we've heard from a lot of them. He's a man who I think has done a lot of good things; that doesn't diminish the severity of what the charges are and we'll have to wait and see how this works out."
Allentown, PA 18102