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Proposed plea bargain for former Yough Senior High School assistant coach rejected

Rich Cholodofsky
| Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, 11:18 p.m.

Police and the alleged victim objected to a proposed deal that would have allowed a former Yough Senior High School baseball coach to serve probation on charges of asking a boy to send pornographic photos of himself.

So the case against Casey Gilkey, 45, has been sent back for a preliminary hearing, scuttling the deal that would have allowed the former assistant coach's criminal record to be expunged at the conclusion of his two-year probation term.

Gilkey of South Huntingdon was charged in June with child pornography, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors for allegedly using a female alias to request that a teenage boy text message him pictures of the boy's genitals.

Defense attorney Mark Bolkovac has said Gilkey was playing a prank on the boy.

Gilkey had been scheduled to appear in court next week before Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway for a hearing to admit him in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time, nonviolent offenders.

That program does not require defendants to admit guilt and allows them to have their record expunged at the completion of a probationary period. In addition to the probation term, Gilkey was to be barred from coaching baseball for two years.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Dupilka, in a letter to the defense, said the prosecution would object to having Gilkey's record expunged.

As a result, Bolkovac in a court filing said his client would not accept any deal that was different from what was agreed to prior to a scheduled preliminary hearing in July. The hearing was never conducted and Bolkovac said his client is entitled to have the case be heard by a judge to determine whether there is enough evidence to sustain the criminal charges.

“Failure to conduct a preliminary hearing denies the defendant of his due process rights,” Bolkovac said.

Hathaway ordered District Judge Charles Christner conduct a preliminary hearing. The date for that hearing has not been set.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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