WILKES-BARRE – A former Monroe County judge facing the last two years of a probationary sentence handed down in a case in which prosecutors say he molested his young daughter in 2003 was granted a request to have his 10-year sentence terminated early.
Pazuhanich's attorney, Jonathan Ursiak, said that with the early termination of his client's probation, he will not have to register under Megan's Law for his entire life when a new state law takes effect on Dec. 20.
Senior Judge Joseph Augello said that as of Nov. 30, Mark Pazuhanich will no longer be under the supervision of the county's probation office.
Pazuhanich, a Wilkes-Barre native now living in East Stroudsburg, was charged in November 2003 with fondling his daughter at a Hilary Duff concert at the F.M Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Public Square.
He pleaded no contest to indecent assault, public drunkenness, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors in July 2004, and was sentenced shortly thereafter by Augello to 10 years probation.
As the sitting Monroe County district attorney, Pazuhanich was elected in November 2003 to fill a 10-year Monroe County judgeship, created because of an overload of family court cases.
As a newly elected judge in 2004, he never heard a case.
His duties at first were limited to administrative work and he was placed on administrative leave in February 2004.
In October 2004, Pazuhanich was banned from serving as a judge for life and then disbarred as an attorney in November 2006. Pazuhanich is a 1978 graduate of King's College.
Pazuhanich also was ordered to register his address under Megan's Law for a period of 10 years, which will end in July 2014.
In his petition, Ursiak said his client has had contact with his daughter, both by telephone and in person, and their relationship continues to improve.
Ursiak said Pazuhanich's daughter did not object to the request to terminate her father's probation and signed a consent form noting such.
Ursiak said that had his client remained on probation, he would have become subject to a lifetime registration under Megan's Law due to a state law concerning the state Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
According to Senate Bill 1183, signed into law in December 2011, on Dec. 20, 2012 new provisions take effect for Megan's Law registrants.