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Judge sets trial date for Joan Orie Melvin and her sister for Jan. 23

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Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 2:38 p.m.

The public corruption trial of suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister and former aide Janine Orie will be held early next year.

Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus scheduled the trial for Jan. 23.

Melvin, 56, of Marshall faces seven charges, including four felonies, while Orie, 58, of McCandless faces four charges, including one felony. They are accused of using Melvin's former taxpayer-funded Superior Court staffers to run Melvin's 2003 and 2009 campaigns for a Supreme Court seat.

A third sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie, was convicted in March on similar charges and sentenced to 2 12 to 10 years in prison.

The Republican Orie family has called the sisters' prosecution politically motivated, a claim that District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., a Democrat, denies.

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