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Coaldale’s Former Mayor on Trial for Child Porn

JIM THORPE — The former mayor of Coaldale is facing 27 counts of child pornography. On Wednesday, the jury listed to opening statements and the prosecution’s evidence, including interviews with the FBI where Richard Corkery allegedly admitted to looking at porn.

About three years after originally being charged, this former mayor of Coaldale is finally on trial facing 27 counts of child porn charges.

“Do you have anything to say about this trial starting after waiting so long?”

“No comment,” said Corkery.

The prosecution worked to prove Corkery was visiting child porn websites on a computer while at WLSH radio station in Nesquehoning where he worked as a host of The Dutch Trader radio program.

The station’s manager testified that he found a history of porn on a work computer used by Corkery, and fired him.

“Once I opened up the history on the computer, I noticed there were some apparent porn sites, college boy gay porn sites,” said radio station manager William Lakatas.

Weeks later an anonymous letter sent to the Nesquehoning Police Chief tipped officers off to the incident and they began investigating.

FBI agents helped interview the former mayor of Coaldale about the discovery, something Corkery denied multiple times saying the porn found were pop ups on his computer and nothing he searched for.

But eventually Corkery changed his tune.

An FBI special agent testifying for the prosecution said Corkery told them, “I (Corkery) did search for boy porn sites. I didn’t want to look at boys under 18 years old. It was only by accident.”

Troopers specializing in computer forensics also took the stand in Carbon County and say the computer from WLSH had data on the hard drive proving someone searched for child porn during the hours of Corkery’s shift – between 8 and 10 a.m. – on multiple occasions.

Now the defense promises Coaldale’s former mayor will take the stand in his own defense.

“Don’ judge a book by its cover. The photos you will see are lewd and distasteful. But there a lot of pages missing which can lead to reasonable doubt,” said defense attorney Nicholas Quinn.

Opening statements were delayed about an hour today as jurors were polled to make sure no one read accounts of this case, which was front page news in a local newspaper.

No jurors were dismissed.

The defense is scheduled to take over Thursday morning in Carbon County court.

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