Lehigh Valley

Kenneth Schade, ex-boys choir director, to stand trial on child pornography charges

Ex-boys choir director to stand trial on child porn charges

STROUDSBURG, Pa. - The founder of a local boy's choir, accused of sexually abusing a child, is now heading to trial on child porn charges.

Kenneth Schade, founder of Singing Boys Choir of Pennsylvania, was back in court Wednesday, and so were the suitcases that investigators said contained more than 1,000 pictures depicting child pornography.

Investigators said they found out about the suitcases after Schade called and asked a neighbor to remove them from his home.

"The suitcases themselves were some of the evidence recovered as a result of a search warrant for the defendants home," said Michael Rakaczwski, assistant district attorney.

But the defense still has a lot of questions about those suitcases..

"The details of how it was found, where it was found, what its condition was are all things we are going to have to take a long look at down the road and see how we want to approach it," said Phil Lauer, attorney for Schade.

Investigators got the suitcases from a neighbor after Schade called the woman from the Monroe County Correctional Facility and asked her to remove them from the home, according to court documents.

The neighbor turned them over to the police, and investigators said they found more than 1,000 pornographic photos of children inside.

Schade is also charged with sexually abusing a child and prosecutors want to combine the cases.

"We want to join the cases in an attempt to prove his intent, motive in regards to the sexual assault in the first case," said Rakaczewski.

"In my opinion, they are two very different events and I don't know that one necessarily has anything to do with the other," said Lauer.

The defense did waive the preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon. So far, prosecutors have not said when they will seek a motion trying to combine both cases.

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