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Ex-Scout leader can't leave jail

Rich Cholodofsky
| Monday, May 14, 2012, 3:30 a.m.

A former Boy Scout leader convicted of conducting a bizarre bonding ritual with three young boys can't get out of jail because he has no place to live.

John Levendosky, 53, formerly of Derry, was in court Tuesday to ask Judge William J. Ober to change his sentence of nearly one to two years in jail.

Levendosky, 53, pleaded guilty in July to charges of child endangerment, unlawful restraint and other related offenses involving a June 2000 camping trip he took to Fairfield Township with three 13-year-old boys.

While in the woods, Levendosky made the boys perform a number of acts for entrance into his secret society. One of those acts included carving a letter into the boys' chests.

None of the charges against Levendosky were sexual in nature.

In August, after Levendosky had served more than 14 months in jail since his arrest a year earlier, Ober ordered that he be immediately paroled and serve the next six months on house arrest.

Seven months later Levendosky is still behind bars. Ryan Kammerer, assistant Westmoreland County public defender, said Levendosky has been unable to find a place to live because he cannot afford to pay rent and has no family nearby with whom he can stay.

In order to serve house arrest, Levendosky must have a verifiable address and phone number. Probation officials say he has neither.

As a result, Levendosky has served behind bars 21 months of his nearly two-year sentence. He also is required to serve 15 years' probation.

Ober declined to rule on Levendosky's request to have his sentenced altered.

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