Lehighton resident headed for court on rape, assault charges
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS James Simmons of Lehighton is shown entering the office of District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton on Wednesday. Simmons waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will have a pretrial conference on criminal charges for an alleged incident that occurred on New Year's Day.
A Lehighton man who faces criminal charges over an alleged incident that occurred on New Year's Day is headed to court.
James Simmons, 47, of 3135 Fairyland Rd., on Wednesday waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.
As a result, Simmons will have a pretrial conference at 9 a.m. Feb. 3 in the district attorney's office in the courthouse in Jim Thorpe.
Simmons has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, terroristic threats and simple assault.
He remains free on $100,000, 10 percent bail.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Franklin Township Police Officer Frank Lorah:
At about 4:02 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 1, Lorah was at the Franklin Township Police Department when the victim arrived and stated that Simmons arrived at her residence, according to the affidavit.
The victim, whose name is being withheld by the TIMES NEWS, alleges that Simmons assaulted her physically by punching, choking and spitting on her, the affidavit says. The victim also alleges that Simmons pulled down her pants, ripped her shirt and attempted to rape her.
The victim was extremely upset and crying when she arrived at the station. Lorah then contacted state police at Lehighton for a female trooper to assess her injuries. Trooper Cebula arrived at about 4:15 p.m. at the township police station.
Cebula had the victim give a written statement of the events that occurred on that day. Upon request of Lorah, Cebula witnessed bruising in the neck area as if the victim was choked, marks on her chest, bruising on her right arm, and bruising on the inside of the left thigh area.
Lorah then contacted Assistant District Attorney Joseph Matika, and charges were approved for criminal complaint.
Lorah then contacted Officer Doll and both went to the suspect's home, but Simmons didn't answer the door.
Unaware if Simmons was still at the residence, both officers checked various places where he might have been.
At about 6 p.m., both officers arrived back at the home.
Simmons was in the basement and stated that he didn't hear the officers earlier. He was then taken into custody and transported back to the station, where he was read and waived his Miranda rights.
Simmons denied the allegations and gave a written statement about arguing, but nothing physical.