Carbon County court
Four defendants charged in assault/threatening type incidents benefited from forgiving victims on Monday in Carbon County court.
Because the victims in each of the four cases asked that the charges be reduced, the defendants all entered guilty pleas to lesser counts.
Judge Steven R. Serfass, who accepted the pleas in each case, noted that the forgiving victims saved the defendants from facing much more serious charges.
Bart E. Dennin, 23, of Albrightsville, was charged by state police at Fern Ridge with aggravated and simple assault for a domestic incident on Nov. 3, 2017, at a residence along Pinetree Road in Penn Forest Township. However, because the victim didn’t want Dennin to face the serious charges, Serfass agreed to have him plead to a summary offense of harassment.
Since the incident, Dennin underwent inpatient counseling and continues aftercare sessions, according to his counsel, attorney Nandakumar Palissery.
Serfass imposed a fine of $300 and costs.
Benjamin D. Sasso, 27, of Jim Thorpe, was originally charged with simple assault for an incident on Aug. 29, 2017, Jim Thorpe police were sent to his South Street home for a domestic incident involving his wife as the victim. The victim agreed to not have the commonwealth pursue the assault charge. Sasso then pleaded to one count each of harassment and disorderly conduct, both summary offenses.
Serfass imposed fines of $300 on each count and costs.
Joseph Clemens Visnosky IV, 20, of Palmerton, was charged with simple assault for an incident on April 1, 2016, filed by Jim Thorpe police. Visnosky was charged with assaulting another student at the Carbon Career & Technical Institute. The victim agreed to a reduced charge and Visnosky pleaded to harassment, as a summary offense.
Serfass deferred sentencing in the matter as there is a question concerning restitution.
John Witcofsky, 45, of Lehighton, was originally charged with terroristic threats for a domestic incident on Nov. 3, 2017, involving his wife at their Penn Forest Township home filed by state police at Lehighton. However, his wife wrote a note on his victim’s impact statement asking he not be punished for the threats. He pleaded to a summary offense of harassment.
Serfass sentenced him to time-served (28 days) to 90 days in jail and ordered he pay a fine of $300 and costs.