Latkanich Gets Probation despite Plea by Victim

By Pickels, Mary | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 22, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Latkanich Gets Probation despite Plea by Victim


Pickels, Mary, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Washington Township Supervisor Chuck Yusko appealed to Fayette County Judge Steve Leskinen to "serve a dose of reality" Friday in sentencing Michael Latkanich for beating Yusko two years ago.

Yusko read from a three-page, victim-impact statement yesterday before Latkanich was sentenced on charges of simple assault and harassment.

In spite of that, the judge ordered Latkanich, the son of Washington Township Supervisor Joanne Latkanich, to serve one year of probation. He also must pay prosecution costs and pay the victims' compensation assistance program about $13,000.

"I'm disappointed," Yusko said afterward. "Everybody's disappointed. I don't know what else you can say."

In July, a jury convicted Latkanich of punching and kicking Yusko, but found him not guilty on the more serious charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering and terroristic threats. Leskinen separately found Latkanich guilty of a summary offense of harassment.

During the trial, Latkanich, 31, testified that he punched the 54- year-old Yusko in the face outside the township fire hall on Oct. 13, 2005, because Latkanich believed Yusko had called his mother a "pig" and a "thief." Yusko denied making those comments during testimony.

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