Child abuse suspect has hearing continued
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Robert Schafer of Palmerton is shown being escorted out of the office of District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton on Wednesday. Schafer's hearing has been continued until June 5.
A Palmerton man accused of assaulting his child has had his case postponed.
Robert Schafer, 34, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.
But, instead, the case has been continued until 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 5.
Schafer faces charges of aggravated assault; simple assault, attempt; and endangering the welfare of children.
He has been recommitted to Carbon County Prison in lieu of $150,000, 10-percent bail.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Palmerton patrolman Shawn Leadbetter:
On May 19, Leadbetter was dispatched at 11:09 a.m. by the Carbon Communications Center to 285 Harvard Avenue for a domestic disturbance, the affidavit says.
Upon arrival at around 11:12 a.m., Leadbetter was met at the front door by a juvenile female who was visibly upset, the affidavit says.
Leadbetter said he asked the juvenile, 7, if she would go find her mother inside the apartment, but the juvenile was too scared to even go knock on the bedroom door to where her mother and father were located.
A few moments later, the victim's mother and father walked out of the bedroom and met Leadbetter at the front door.
Leadbetter then had Schafer speak with him out in the hallway, at which time he said everything was fine and no one was arguing.
There was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from the facial area of Schafer, who adamently denied fighting with either his daughter or wife.
Leadbetter then spoke separately with Schafer's wife outside in the hallway. She said she dropped her daughter off on May 17 with Schafer. When she arrived at Schafer's residence earlier that morning, she said she noticed her daughter had a red mark on the side of her face.
When the wife confronted Schafer about the mark on their daughter's face, Schaefer stated she fell on the edge of the couch at his residence over the weekend, subsequently starting an argument between the two.
The wife wanted Schafer removed from her apartment, at which time Leadbetter observed a small red bruise to the left face of the juvenile.
When asked if she wanted to leave the apartment, the juvenile stated she did not want to leave her mom.
Leadbetter then advised the mother to take her daughter to the Palmerton Hospital Emergency Room for an evaluation.
Schafer then left the apartment with no further incident, and advised he was going to walk home to "cool off."
On the same day at atround 3:45 p.m., Leadbetter received a phone call at the Palmerton Police Department from the mother, who stated that after taking her daughter to the hospital, she was told by the Emergency Room staff to contact the police, as they suspected child abuse.
Upon Leadbetter's arrival at the Palmerton Hospital Emergency Room, he spoke with Dr. Walter Bell, who advised that the injuries sustained to the juvenile are consistent with child abuse.
The juvenile was found to have multiple contusions to the head, face, chest and back, as well as left perforated tympanic membrance, which is also defined as a ruptured eardrum that was currently infected.
At 5 p.m. that day, the juvenile, along with her mother, arrived the Palmerton Police Station for an interview with Leadbetter.
During the interview, the juvenile stated that on May 17, her father ripped her shirt off, and, using a closed fist, hit her on the left side of her face. Schafer then started to squeeze her neck for several seconds, and then pushed her to the couch, at which time the juvenile was crying at a high volume.
Schafer then grabbed the neck of the juvenile once again, and threatened and squeezed, this time for several minutes to the point where the juvenile couldn't breathe or talk.
Later that day, Schafer arrived at the Palmerton Police Department for an interview.
At 5:41 p.m., Schafer was read his Miranda Warnings, at which time he waived his right to counsel and agreed to speak with Leadbetter.
Schafer admitted to pushing the juvenile to the point to calm down, but never forcefully hit her.
However, Schafer admitted to hitting the juvenile in the past on many occasions.