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Judge orders speedy trial in alleged attempted sexual exploitation

A federal court judge denied a continuance of a jury trial to a South Williamsport man accused of alleged attempted sexual exploitation of a child in an indictment two years ago.

Marc Punzalan was charged in an indictment on May, 24, 2018, with one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a child and stalking with intent to harass and intimidate and cause substantial emotional distress to a person in another state, according to documents in U.S. Middle District Court.

“The failure to grant a continuance would likely result in a miscarriage of justice,” wrote Judge Matthew W. Brann this week.

“The ends of justice served by the granting of the continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial,” Brann said.

The case was continued to the March 2021 trial list. The jury selection is scheduled for March 1.

Geoffrey W. MacArthur, assistant U.S. attorney, has been assigned the case.

Ari D. Weitzman, assistant federal public defender is defending Punzalan.

Punzalan appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle for an intial appearance and arraignment on June 19, 2018.

Punzalan entered a plea of not guilty on June 19, 2018.

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