HARRISBURG, Pa. The State Attorney General's office has filed criminal charges against York County magisterial district judge Jeffrey Scott Joy,
Scott, 50, of 13 South 4th Street, New Freedom Borough, is accused of indecently assaulting a 31 year old woman who appeared in his courtroom.
The charges include misdemeanor counts of Official Oppression, Indecent Assault and Harassment, as well as a summary count of Harassment. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police.
According to a criminal complaint, a woman who appeared as a victim/witness in Joy's courtroom told state police that Joy visited her apartment twice earlier this year. During the second encounter, Joy allegedly groped the woman's backside and breast and also licked her breast without her consent, the woman reported, according to the criminal complaint.
The woman reported the alleged contact to state police the same day that it allegedly occurred, the criminal complaint states.
The woman also reported that Joy made his first visit to her apartment to investigate an alleged child abuse incident involving another person. Joy in a subsequent phone call to the woman allegedly asked her if she needed money and offered to buy a painting from her. That was the purpose of his second visit to see the woman, she told state police, according to the criminal complaint.
The state police investigation also revealed that Joy in January allegedly made inappropriate sexual comments to a different woman while she was in his courtroom.
Further investigation also showed that Joy allegedly made multiple visits to the home of a third woman who appeared in his courtroom.
Joy was assigned to the district court located on Fairview Court in New Freedom. The charges were issued today via summons. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 28.
The Office of Attorney General assumed jurisdiction in the case upon receiving a conflict referral from the York County district attorney's office.
Christopher A. Ferro, defense attorney for Judge Jeff Joy released the following statement:
"The allegations that have been made against Judge Jeff Joy, which are now the sole basis for the misdemeanor criminal offenses that have been filed today, are simply not true. Judge Joy, based upon his reputation in the community and years of public service, both on and off the bench, has earned and fully deserves the absolute presumption of innocence. These false accusations are without merit and we look forward to addressing the charges in Court. This is a difficult time for Judge Joy and his family. He can only hope that those who truly know him will reserve final judgment and give him the benefit of the doubt as he moves forward and defends against these false accusations."
Joy, the former mayor of New Freedom, ran unopposed when he was elected district judge in November 2011. He also held volunteer positions with Rose Fire Company and the local school district.
In April York County President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh reassigned all of Joy's criminal cases to other district justices.
The York County Office of Clerk of Courts released the following statement late Friday afternoon:
The York County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, August 7 was advised that criminal charges were filed against Magisterial District Judge Jeff Joy.
President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh, after consultation with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, immediately filed an administrative order relieving Judge Joy from service until further notice. His criminal cases had already been reassigned to a rotation of senior judges pursuant to an order filed by Judge Linebaugh April 15.
Senior judges now will assume responsibility for all matters that come before District Court 19-3-04.
Judge Linebaugh on Friday assigned jurisdiction of Joy’s criminal case to District Court 19-3-01. Adams County Senior Judge John C. Zepp III will preside.