Former Delco judge sentenced to prison

Former Haverford District Judge Gerald Liberace, 69, was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

A former Delaware County district judge was sentenced to prison today for inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl in his care, according to the state Attorney General's Office, which prosecuted the case.

Longtime Haverford District Judge Gerald Liberace, 69, was sentenced to 6-to-12 months in county prison for endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of a minor, said Attorney General spokesman Nils Frederiksen. Liberace was found guilty of those charges in a jury trial in January. He was found not guilty of an indecent assault charge during the same trial.

The victim, now 18, claimed in court that six years ago, while she was a child in his care, Liberace repeatedly touched her buttocks and he once rubbed her vagina.

Even though Liberace has no prior criminal records, visiting Philadelphia Senior Judge John L. Braxton sentenced him to prison time, as the Attorney General's Office requested.

"We had argued for incarceration," Frederiksen said. "This is a serious case about sexual assault ... so certainly a term of incarceration when you are dealing with a public figure should send a clear message."

Frederiksen stressed that this remains on ongoing investigation, although he declined to specify why or what aspect of the investigation remains open.

Liberace was handcuffed and taken to the Delaware County Prison immediately after his sentencing.