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Mr Raccoon

US judge from the town of Intercourse hands out condom filled acorns to picnicking ladies.

Quite what the judge in the following story was thinking is open to debate but when you work in a town called Intercourse I suppose it will affect your mind somewhat :

A state judicial panel has accused an Intercourse district judge of violating standards of conduct when he handed out acorns that had been hollowed out and stuffed with condoms near the Capitol in September.

The Judicial Conduct Board alleges Isaac H. Stoltzfus brought “disrepute” upon the office of district judge, and that he failed to act “in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the Judiciary.”

The complaint, filed before the state Court of Judicial Discipline, means the 20-year veteran will be tried and, if found guilty, could be stripped of his seat on the local bench because of what authorities have described as “bizarre” behavior.

Stoltzfus can continue serving as a district judge and collecting his yearly salary of $82,303 pending the outcome of the case, said Joseph A. Massa Jr., the Judicial Conduct Board’s chief counsel.

The district judge’s office referred questions to attorney Heidi Eakin, who was in court and not immediately available for comment.

A trial date has not yet been set.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for June 20.

The complaint shed new light on how Stoltzfus, who had been attending a continuing education seminar on Sept. 21, ended up being cited for disorderly conduct and became the subject of a Judicial Conduct Board investigation.

Two female employees of the state Department of Health and Welfare saw Stoltzfus picking up acorns in a shady, tree-lined area near the Capitol known as the Soldiers Grove about 12:40 p.m. on Sept. 21, the complaint states.

One of the women attempted to joke with the judge.

“Are you a commonwealth employee?” she asked Stoltzfus.

He said yes.

“Maybe you want to contract with (Department of General Services) to pick up all the acorns!” she joked, the complaint states.

At that point, the judge walked to his handbag, which bore the Seal of the Commonwealth, and pulled out a plastic sandwich bag containing acorns. He took out four acorns and gave two to each of the women, according to the complaint.

“They make a nice afternoon snack, try them. I’ll be here tomorrow, let me know what you think,” Stoltzfus told the women, according to the complaint.

One of the women, remarking on how “shiny” the acorns looked, asked, “What do you do, roast them?”

Stoltzfus replied: “Just take them and let me know what you think,” the complaint states.

The two women sat down at a picnic table and one of them opened an acorn. She was “horrified to find that the inside of the acorn was hollowed out and that an unwrapped condom was placed in the acorn,” according to the complaint.

The second woman found the same thing in one of her acorns.

They told Capitol security guards to notify police. The women identified the judge to police, who escorted Stoltzfus out of the continuing education room.

Stoltzfus initially denied handing out the acorns when interviewed by police, but he quickly changed his story and claimed he did so only as a joke, according to the complaint. Police cited Stoltzfus with disorderly conduct and notified him he would be the subject of ethical misconduct complaints before the Judicial Conduct Board.

Stoltzfus then asked the officer if he could just plead guilty to the citation and not have the Judicial Conduct Board involved, the complaint states.

The officer said no.

He asked Capitol Police if he could be given a chance to apologize to the women, but was denied. Stoltzfus then asked an officer to relay his apology, which he did later that day.

Police later found four acorns that had been tampered with in a men’s room trash can.

Prosecutors dropped the citation a month later because they did not believe he had committed a crime.

“The judge’s actions were certainly bizarre, but not necessarily illegal that we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico told the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era in October.

The Judicial Conduct Board’s investigation, however, continued. During a deposition with the board’s chief counsel in Harrisburg on Jan. 5, Stoltzfus restated that his intention for the acorns was for them to be a joke.

Under oath, Stoltzfus said, he “has collected, hollowed out, and placed unwrapped condoms inside thousands of acorns during his tenure as a Magisterial District Judge; and that he gave the condom-filled acorns to individuals appearing before him in his Court in order to raise awareness for the efficacy of condom use against unplanned pregnancy and disease,” the complaint states.

The mind boggles :

The court also wrote that Stoltzfus’ “preoccupation with acorns is mystifying.”

As they say over the pond, No shit sherlock!

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