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    State bar leader charged with patronizing prostitute quits

    April 28, 2021 GMT

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association resigned from that role Tuesday after being charged with patronizing a prostitute who police accused of trying to extort him.

    David Eric Schwager, 58, of Kingston was also put on leave from his job as an assistant solicitor in Luzerne County. His attorney, Frank Nocito, declined comment.

    Luzerne County detectives said in charging documents that in late December 2019, answering an advertisement for an escort, Schwager went to a house in Wilkes-Barre and paid Emily Ann Merth to engage in sex acts.

    Merth, 25, currently jailed in Allentown, was also charged Monday with prostitution, theft and sexual extortion.

    Police say Schwager told them he noticed Merth was recording him on her phone and when he asked about it, Merth told him she also shoots pornography. Schwager left after Merth declined to stop recording.

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    Merth allegedly then texted him to demand $1,000 or she would release the video, an amount she subsequently reduced to $700. Police were watching as Schwager returned to her home, and Merth fled when investigators approached her, they said.

    She told police that day that she had created the escort ad and admitted she met with Schwager and engaged in sex for money, the charging documents say.

    The state bar association’s president-elect, Kathleen Wilkinson, has been elevated to president as a result of Schwager’s resignation.