Lansford man admits to indecent assault in Carbon court
A Lansford man admitted to indecent assault of a woman on Tuesday in Carbon County court.
He was one of 10 defendants in pending criminal cases to enter a guilty plea before Judge Joseph J. Matika.
Summit Hill incident
Christopher John Vogel, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault for an incident that occurred on Jan. 24 at the Lansford Court complex in Summit Hill.
In exchange for the plea, the district attorney's office dropped charges of rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, and harassment.
Summit Hill Chief of Police Joseph Fittos Jr., said that Vogel sexually assaulted a female who had been asleep in her bed. The female "told him to get off of her and she tried to fight him off, but she could not," police said.
Afterward Vogel shoved the victim "into a cabinet, grabbed her by the neck, and slapped her across the face" before fleeing.
Assistant District Attorney Michael S. Greek said Vogel and the victim had a prior relationship.
Matika deferred sentencing because the charge falls under the provisions of Megan's Law. Vogel must under a sexual offenders evaluation prior to sentencing.
Sherry Ann Phillips, 37, of Lansford, pleaded guilty in four pending cases. She pleaded to one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia, retail theft, theft, and possession of a controlled substance.
She was arrested on the paraphernalia count on Aug. 11, 2012, by Lansford police for an incident along W.Patterson St. She was charged with the possession count for an incident on Nov. 18, 2012, in the area of 224 E. Ridge St., where police found her in possession of cocaine. She was arrested on the retail theft charge for an incident on Nov. 6, 2012, at the Turkey Hill in Lansford. The theft count was for an incident on Nov. 12, 2012, in which she took a pitbull puppy from a neighbor's property.
When asked by Matika if she had a drug problem, Phillips shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't think so. However, the judge noted in one of the police reports concerning the four cases, the officers referred to her as "Crack head Sherry."
She was placed on probation for a total of two years on all the counts and ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and render a total of 100 hours of community service.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Michael Smith, 61, of Harleysville, Montgomery County, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on July 8, 2012, by state police at Lehighton along Pohopoco Drive, in Franklin Township. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.
Matika sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.
He will begin the jail term at 8 a.m. on May 6.
Danielle Eremus, 25, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property. She was arrested by Franklin Township police for an incident on April 17, 2012, in which her grandfather, William Fairchild, is the victim.
She removed a .22-caliber handgun from his residence and gave the gun to a drug dealer to get drugs. She admitted to heroin addiction. Several felony counts were dropped in a plea bargain.
Matika said she was given a "huge" break by the DA's office in dropping the felony charges, but said he understood why due to her grandfather speaking in her behalf.
Matika placed her on probation for a year and ordered her to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 50 hours of community service.
Paul Moon, 25, of Weatherly, pleaded in two pending cases, to two counts of retail theft. The incidents occurred on March 18 at JJ's One Stop in the borough where he got gas and fled without paying for it. The second incident had the same details, getting gas at the J&N Exxon station and fleeing without paying.
Moon admitted to a heroin addiction problem.
Matika sentence him to serve two to 12 months in jail on each count, running concurrently. He was also ordered to get both a D&A and mental health evaluations, zero tolerance on D&A use, render 50 hours of community service when released on parole, and make total restitution of $66.31. He was given credit for 32 days spent in jail to date on the charges.
John Thomas Shubeck, 46, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested by Nesquehoning police for an incident on March 8 at the county prison.
Shubeck reported to the prison to continue serving a weekend sentence. While being processed correction officers found pills hidden in his tooth brush holder.
Shubeck is currently in jail as his weekend sentence was revoked.
Matika deferred sentencing.
Gary Pfeiffer, 55, of Beaver Meadows, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Dec. 28, 2012, along Plane St., by Weatherly police. Given a test, the result was .22BAC.
He was placed on probation for six months and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.
Lynn D. Chieffo, 52, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of DUI. She was arrested on May 1, 2012, along 57 Road in Towamensing Township, by state police at Lehighton after being involved in an accident. Given a test, the result was .19BAC.
She was sentenced to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.
She will begin the jail term at 9 a.m. on May 6.
Clarice A. Ruch, 50, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of DUI. She was arrested on Feb. 3, 2011, along Delaware Avenue in Palmerton by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .14BAC.
Matika placed her on probation for six months and ordered her to get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.
Donald Joseph Meadows, 24, of Pottsville, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Sept. 29, 2012, along SR209 by Nesquehoning police. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.
He was placed on probation for six months and ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
Each defendant must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.