A federal court jury returned a mixed verdict today in the corruption case of former Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 61, of Luzerne County, Pa.
He was accused in an unusual courtroom scandal case, and was charged with accepting kickbacks in exchange for ordering youthful offenders to a privately operated juvenile detention facility. It became known as the “cash for kids” scandal.
Before he left the bench in disgrace two years ago, Ciavarella presided over a juvenile courtroom. Today, he vowed afterward to fight the jury’s decision, WNEP reported.
Thousands of juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella were later dismissed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It said he ran his courtroom with “complete disregard for the constitutional rights of the juveniles.”
Ciavarella faces as much as 157 years in prison, but prosecutors said the range of imprisonment under federal sentencing guidelines would be about 12 1/2 to 15 1/2 years. To learn more about the scandal, check out Gavel Grab.