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Pennsylvania boys choir head pleads guilty to child sex assault

By Elizabeth Daley

(Reuters) - A Pennsylvania boys choir director has pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child and possessing child pornography and faces more than a decade in prison, authorities said on Tuesday.

Kenneth Schade, 74, founder of the Singing Boys Choir, originally faced charges of raping a choir boy and 1,101 counts of possessing child pornography.

In a deal with prosecutors, Schade pleaded guilty in Monroe County Court on Monday to the sexual assault of a choir member who was under 16 and to two counts of child pornography stemming from two suitcases police found stuffed with lewd printed images of children, police said.

Founded in 1970, the Singing Boys Choir has toured 48 of the 50 U.S. states and internationally, according to its website. Choir members ranged in age from 8 to 14.

Schade, a resident of Marshalls Creek, faces a sentence of 12 to 24 years in prison, according to state police. His sentencing has not been scheduled pending presentencing evaluations.

His defense attorney could not be reached for comment.

Schade was a music professor at East Stroudsburg University.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Daley in Pittsburgh; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Eric Beech)

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