The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 23, 2012

Defense: Ex-state Sen. Raphael Musto too ill for trial

By Jon Gerardi
The Associated Press

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SCRANTON — A former state lawmaker wants the corruption charges against him dismissed because his health is so poor the stress of a trial could kill him.

Attorneys for former state Sen. Raphael Musto filed a motion Monday seeking the dismissal of charges or the indefinite postponement of his trial on allegations he took cash payments and other gifts in exchange for his help obtaining government funding for two projects

Musto's attorneys say a doctor hired by federal prosecutors agrees with their contention liver disease prevents Musto from taking part in his own defense.

The 83-year-old Musto was first indicted in 2010 and charged last week with additional counts for allegedly taking cash from a local official whose municipality he helped obtained state loans.

Trial is currently set for Nov. 13.