Former N. Versailles karate instructor to stand trial in plot to harm witnesses in assault case
April 21, 2017 9:51 AM
Allegheny County Police
Karen Kane / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The defense attorney for a karate instructor accused of sexually assaulting several students said there was no good legal reason to hold a preliminary hearing Friday on a second set of accusations that he tried to have witnesses against him murdered.
Richard Narvin, a court-appointed attorney for Michael Scherbanic, 29, of South Park, said authorities have recorded evidence against his client.
"There's no legal advantage (so) we waived it," Mr. Narvin commented Friday morning.
The defendant appeared briefly before District Judge Mary Murray in City Court, Downtown, to verify that he agreed to the waiver. He will now stand trial on the charges.
Mr. Scherbanic was charged March 22 with multiple counts of solicitation to commit homicide, solicitation to commit retaliation, solicitation to commit perjury, and solicitation to obstruct a child abuse investigation.
According to a criminal affidavit, he drafted an "elaborate criminal plan to intimidate victims, recruit witnesses to perjure themselves and obstruct the prosecution” in the sexual assault cases.
He was charged in June 2016 in the sexual assault cases and has been held for trial.
North Versailles police requested assistance from Allegheny County detectives after an alleged victim and his family reported that the boy had been assaulted on three occasions at the Tang Soo Do Karate College in North Versailles. Mr. Scherbanic was the owner. The victims ranged in age from 12 to 20.
His trial in the assault case currently is set for August. His attorney speculated that soonest Mr. Scherbanic would come to trial on the intimidation case would be in the fall.