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Lansford man gets prison term for sexual assault

Published August 24. 2012 05:02PM

A Lansford man was sentenced to a county prison term Thursday in Carbon County court on a charge of statutory sexual assault. In another case a Palmerton man received a state prison term for possession of a firearm while being a convicted felon.

The cases were among several handled by Judge Joseph J. Matika.

Lansford incident

Paul Walck, 22, was sentenced to serve nine to 23 1/2 months in prison on the sexual assault count. Walck previously pleaded guilty to the charge.

Lansford police charged Walck with having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. Police became awhere of the sexual assault from the county office of Children & Youth.

The girl was interviewed by police and admitted to the relationship with Walck. She said she met with him in February of 2012 at a location in Lansford when they had sex for the first time. The sexual encounters were consentual, however, due to her age and the age of the defendant, it violated state law.

When first interviewed by police, Walck denied any sexual contact with the girl but said he had bought her stuffed animals. Police told Walck they didn't beleive him and that the girl said her name or initials were tatooed on Walck's genitials.

Walck vehemently denied that and drew for the investigating officer, Robert Soberick, the dollar sign he said was tattooed on his genitals. He also showed the officer a photo on his camera of the inked body part, saying it was his. Soberick expressed skepticism, saying the photo could be anyone. At this time Walck then pulled out his private parts and showed police the dollar sign.

In a plea bargain charges of sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, all felonies, and indecent assault, were dropped.

Matika also ordered Walck to render 100 hours of community service when released on parole, get both drug and alcohol (D&A) and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, and have no contact with the victim. He was given credit for 143 days spent in jail to date on the charge.

State prison

Richard Curtis Lovely, 54, of Palmerton, was sentenced to a state prison term of 27 to 54 months on a charge of firearm ownership. State police at Lehighton charged Lovely with possessing a firearm on Dec. 13, 2011, at his residence when he is not allowed to have any firearms. He had two handguns, troopers said.

Lovely is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior felony conviction, which is well over 20 years ago.

Matika told Lovely that despite the time span between his felony conviction and the arrest for possessing the firearm, his prior record "came back to haunt you." Matika said the law requires such a stiff penalty.

In addition to the jail time Loverly must supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, and was given credit for 10 days spent in jail on the charge.

He will begin the jail term at 8 a.m. on Aug. 28 when he will report to the county prison and then transported to the state prison at Graterford, near Philadelphia.

Other cases

Other cases heard by Matika included:

John Collotty, 32, of Lehighton, was sentenced in two cases he previously entered guilty pleas.

On a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) he was sentenced to serve 90 days to two years in prison, followed by three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,500, license suspended for 18 months, get a D&A evaluation, render 100 hours of community service, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, attend and complete a anger management course, and was granted work release privileges. On a charge of possession of a controlled substance he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the DUI charge.

He was arrested for DUI on Jan. 12 in Jim Thorpe. He was stopped along North St. for erratic driving. A test revealed the presence of a controlled substance.

On a charge of resisting arrest he was sentenced to serve one to 12 months in prison, concurrent with the other count. On a charge of simple assault, the same sentence and terms imposed, also concurrent.

He was arrested on those charges on Jan. 7 in Franklin Township. Police were called to a residence in the township for assault. Colloty was accused of assaulting his mother. When police attempted to take him into custody, he resisted and struck Officer Franklin A. Lorah.

Derek Leon Frable, 29, of Palmerton, was placed on probation for a year on a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor. He was arrested on Dec. 19, 2010, by state police for an incident in which he was accused of giving alcohol to a 17-year-old male, who was later involved in an accident. Frable claimed he gave the teen the alcohol in the morning but the teen was not involved in the crash until much later in the day.

He was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and render 50 hours of community service.

Jason S. Oruska, 24, of Schnecksville, was sentenced to serve 72 hours to six months in jail on a DUI count. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,000, license suspended for a year, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service. He was given credit for three days already spent in jail on the charge and paroled.

He was arrested on Nov. 13, 2011, along SR895 in East Penn Township by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.

Jonathan Semmel, 42, of Scranton, was sentenced to serve 72 hours to six months in prison a DUI charge. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service. He was given credit for spending 22 days in a inpatient rehabilitation program and immediately paroled.

He was arrested on Aug. 11, 2011, along SR209 in Nesquehoning. He refused to submit to a blood test.

When he previously entered the guilty plea Matika noted it was Semmel's fourth overall DUI conviction, and second in a 10-year period. Semmel is currently on federal probation for a bank robbery in Maryland in which he said he serve 10 years in a federal prison.

Guilty plea

Corey Scherer, 20, of Kunkletown, pleaded guilty in two pending cases. In both cases he pleaded to one count each of criminal trespass and receiving stolen property.

The charges stem from incidents on Dec. 5 and 7, 2011, both at 638 Lehigh St., in Palmerton. He admitted his part in removing copper piping and wiring from the home in one incident and taking a 42-inch television in the second incident. There are two co-defendants in the cases.

Matika deferred sentencing to a later date until a restitution amount could be determined.

Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a monthly supervision fee of $50 while on probaton or parole.

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