WOODSTOCK — New dates have been set for the appeals of former Strasburg Fire Department members Dale King and Nathan Hirschberg.
Circuit Judge Dennis Hupp continued both cases Wednesday. The two bench trials will instead occur at 9 a.m. July 23.
During the proceedings, Hupp said that he was recusing himself from the two cases. According to a letter he submitted to the court, Hupp has a son in the Fire Department.
“Although [Hupp’s son] has been inactive for some time, I think it best for me to recuse myself so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety or bias, either for or against the defendant,” the letter states. “It is important that the public have confidence that justice has been served whatever the ultimate outcome.”
Judge Bruce Albertson will preside over the cases instead.
King and Hirschberg were both charged in December with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Commonwealth’s Attorney accused the two, along with four other former members of the Fire Department, of having sex with a 17-year-old girl.
In April, King and Hirschberg both pleaded no contest in their cases in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Judge Kevin Black sentenced King to 12 months with 10 months suspended, which would leave King facing two months in jail.
Black sentenced Hirschberg to 12 months with 9 months suspended.
Because of their appeals, their cases are now in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.