Haverford District Judge Gerald Liberace saw the bench from the other side yesterday, when he was arraigned in district court for inappropriately touching his stepdaughter six years ago, the Attorney General's Office said.
Liberace, 69, of Havertown, turned himself in to authorities in Media yesterday after an investigating grand jury recommended that charges of indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of minors be filed against him, said attorney general spokeswoman Lauren Bozart.
He was released on $5,000 bail.
According to court documents, Liberace inappropriately touched his stepdaughter, then 12, under her clothing while her mother was away during a weekend in August 2004.
The girl told no one of the incident until 2009, two years after Liberace and her mother had separated, the Attorney General's Office said.
Delaware County detectives set up a wiretap, and in a conversation with his alleged victim last summer, Liberace said "You know, I did things I guess were inappropriate," according to court documents.
"The only thing I can say is that I felt very close to you and it breaks my heart that you're not in my life anymore," he is quoted as saying.
Liberace's career as senior district judge in Haverford Township dates back at least 30 years.
Liberace is not the first Delaware County district judge to be arrested this year.
In March, Aston Township District Judge David Murphy, 57, was arrested for allegedly forging hundreds of signatures on his nominating petitions.
Murphy's next court date is scheduled for July 21. Liberace's preliminary hearing is slated for July 26.