A longtime Pennsylvania attorney and former magisterial district judge has voluntarily
given up his license to practice law in lieu of the convictions against him for endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.
Gerald C. Liberace, 72, who was admitted to practice law in the commonwealth back in 1967, and also served as a magisterial district judge in Delaware County from 1976 to 2010, submitted his statement of resignation on May 1, according to an order from the state Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board.
The board’s order says that the now-former lawyer’s resignation was accepted, and he is hereby disbarred from the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania retroactive to March 12, 2012.
Court records show that the Office of Disciplinary Counsel had filed professional misconduct charges against Liberace following his conviction at the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.
According to the ODC’s prior filing, Liberace was the subject of a grand jury present in early May 2010 charging the former attorney with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors, all class one misdemeanors.
During the December 2010 jury trial, records show, an 18-year-old college student had testified that six years earlier, when she was 12, Liberace, the girl’s stepfather, engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with her while her mother was on an overnight stay with friends.
Trial evidence included three secretly recorded conversations between Liberace and the girl in which the former attorney apologized for the inappropriate touching, court papers state.
On Jan. 5, 2011, Liberace was found guilty of endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors, but he was found not guilty of indecent assault.
The trial judge subsequently sentenced Liberace to three to six months in jail plus a year of probation on each of the two charges.
The defendant was also ordered to undergo a psychological sexual evaluation and be subject to rules governing sex offenders.
Liberace appealed his sentence in late March 2011, the record states, but the state Superior Court upheld the trial judge’s sentencing.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court subsequently denied a petition to take up the appeal.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel went on to charge Liberace with violating the Rules of Professional Conduct and the state’s Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement.
The Supreme Court temporarily suspended Liberace on March 12, 2012.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed its petition for discipline against Liberace in December of last year.
In court papers, Liberace says he submitted his resignation because he “knows that he could not successfully defend himself against the charges of professional misconduct” pending against him.