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Hearing waived for adults accused of supplying alcohol to minors

It's a case 6 News has been following closely: seven adults charged with giving alcohol to teenagers at a party in Jackson Township last year. Those adults were in court for the first time Monday morning, but instead of facing a judge, they waived the case to trial.

Even though the allegations stem back to more than a year ago, Monday morning would have been the first time the adults faced a judge for the case. It would have most likely also been the first time they were all in the same room with their accusers -- about a dozen teenagers who were prepared to take the stand and testify against them. 

"We would have had everyone testify, if need be," said Anthony Marmo, deputy attorney general for the state of Pennsylvania. 

"We waived our hearing today because we were exploring many options and had no need for testimony to be offered today," said defense attorney Bob Gleason. 

Police said Brian and Tara Peterman, Ronald and Debra Crusan, Brian and Veronica Burkett and Jacqueline Neves gave alcohol to the minors during parties at their neighboring homes July 4, 2012. 

"The parents did serve alcohol to at least seven minors," said Marmo. 

The criminal complaint said the minors, who were 12 and 13 years old at the time, were given several types of alcohol during the party, some of them encouraged to drink until they got sick. But Gleason said the party where it is alleged the activity occurred is a party well-known in the community and one the adults held every year without any problems. 

"We have never had an allegation that the minors were improperly served liquor," said Gleason. "The party was renowned by the community as being wholesome. The defendants have children of their own, and they observe the laws." 

While Gleason said his clients are surprised by the charges they're facing, he didn't deny the activity could have occurred. 

"This type of party, though, sometimes get larger, and when parties get larger, there's more probabilities for this type of charge," said Gleason. 

An eighth adult, Eric Neves, is charged with corruption of minors for simply attending the party. 

The case will now head to trial unless a plea deal is reached. 

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times