All charges against Jeff Joy sent to common pleas court
All charges against an embattled Shrewsbury-area district judge have been sent to the York County Court of Common Pleas following a Friday preliminary hearing.
Jeffrey Joy, 50, is charged in two cases, one of which stems from allegations that he used his position as judge to have inappropriate contact with a woman. In the other case, he allegedly offered to expunge a second woman's criminal charges if she model lingerie for him, according to authorities.
"Being judges, we are held to a high standard," said Senior District Judge John Zepp of Adams County, who presided over the preliminary hearing. "He (Joy) used his office to get to these women."
Joy, who has been suspended without pay, is charged with the misdemeanors of official oppression, indecent assault and harassment, as well as summary harassment in the first case. And in the second case he's charged with two counts of bribery in official and political matters, which are third-degree felonies; official oppression, and two counts of harassment.
Joy was silent when he arrive for and left the hearing. He did not take the stand.
Wanted charges dropped: Defense attorney Chris Ferro argued the official oppression charges should be dropped because neither woman had open cases before Joy at the time of the alleged incidents.
The attorney said the harassment charges should be dropped because the allegations don't meet the definition of harassment under the law. He also asked that the bribery charges also be dropped.
Ferro equated Joy allegedly asking the woman to model lingerie to someone asking a favor of another person who is a plumber to fix a leaky faucet since the woman was an exotic dancer at the time.
"That's her job. That's what she does for a living," he said.
Daniel Dye, the state deputy attorney general who's prosecuting the case, sternly countered that it's incomprehensible that a man serving as a judge can ask a woman to model lingerie in exchange for expunging her record.
"It's disgusting," he said, adding Joy misused his power as a judge to get to the women.
Following the hearing, Ferro said Joy may have moral failings but the allegations don't equal to criminal charges.
First case: Joy is accused of going to the home of a woman whose boyfriend appeared in Joy's courtroom, then touching and licking the woman's breast and groping her buttocks, according to charging documents.
The woman, who's an artist, testified Joy first went to the Glen Rock apartment building (where she had lived in February) under the guise of investigating alleged child abuse in a neighboring apartment.
Joy, of 13 S. Fourth St. in New Freedom, then arranged to go to the woman's apartment again on March 4, telling her he wanted to buy some of her art.
"I don't think he was interested in my art, really," the woman testified.
The woman showed Joy images of pinup girls, one of which was wearing stockings, she had made. Joy asked her to model a similar pair of stockings. At first she said no, she testified.
"His tone changed to very pushy," she said, adding she reluctantly agreed. "I didn't want him to try to do something to my boyfriend...I didn't know what kind of power this guy had."
Joy went to the bedroom where the woman was changing and opened the closed door, the woman testified.
"He came up behind me and grabbed my butt," she said, adding she told him to leave. "That's when he grabbed by chest."
Joy offered her $150 to take off her clothes so he could see her tattoos but the woman said no and Joy pulled up her shirt and licked one of her breasts, she said.
The woman testified she left the room and ordered Joy to leave the apartment, which he did, but he lingered in the hallway, she testified.
During cross examination, the woman said she contacted her boyfriend's attorney, who in turn called state police.
Second case: A second woman to take the stand on Friday said she had been to Joy's office on Dec. 1, 2014 asking that her fine payments, stemming from a harassment charge, be restructured.
That evening, Joy went to the woman's home and, after talking about her son joining a local sports program, talked to her about fine payments.
That's when he offered to expunge her criminal record, something a district judge can't do by himself. He then asked her to model lingerie for him, the woman testified.
"I was like, 'No I'm not going to do that. My kids are home,'" she said.
The second woman went to state police after the first set of charges against Joy were filed.
Trooper Jonathan Colarusso, who investigated the allegations, testified Joy gave him three different accounts of the encounter with the first woman.
In the one version, Joy said the woman invited him to her bedroom, where she took off her shirt. In the second version Joy said he touched the woman's breast after asking her for her permission. In the third account, Joy told police he may have kissed her breast," Colarusso testified.
Joy is free on his own recognizance. He is next due in court for formal arraignment on Oct. 19.
York County President Common Pleas Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh in August ordered that no York County judge can preside over Joy's case, meaning an out-of-county judge must be brought in to hear it.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.