Williamsport, Pa. – All of the judges in the Lycoming County are recused from the case of Jonathan Kula, 25, of Pennsdale.
State police and county detectives allege that Kula had unlawful sexual contact with multiple minors on multiple occasions between 2018 and 2020.
"...the Defendant is the son of a deputy sheriff and based upon long-standing county court policy, it is ordered and directed that all of the county judges are recused," Lycoming County President Judge Nancy L. Butts wrote on April 15.
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The county judges can still handle administrative matters pertaining to Kula's case, like scheduling.
An out-of-county judge has not yet been assigned, according to his docket sheet.
Also on April 15, Butts issued an order vacating her previous decision not to revoke Kula's bail.
On April 12 Butts had denied the Commonwealth's motion to revoke Kula's bail on the basis that he self-surrendered and was well-supervised by parents. She said she wasn't aware of the deputy sheriff's relationship to Kula at that time.
Butts said on April 15 that her decision to vacate the April 12 order was "pursuant to long-standing county policy wherein the county judges recuse themselves in dealing with matters that involve county employees."
While Kula awaits a hearing before an out-of-county judge, he remains free on unsecured bail in all three child sexual abuse cases filed against him.
Related reading: Vigilantes in Lycoming County pursue alleged child predators
His next scheduled court date is June 4.