Local man pleads guilty to assault

LEWISTOWN–In lieu of a bench trial, Richard Rossman, 37, of Lewistown, pleaded guilty to simple assault on Tuesday, despite claiming he did not initiate the altercation that brought about his initial charges.

Rossman’s plea was “reluctant,” said James Bryant, Rossman’s attorney, but was determined as being made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently by President Judge David Barron. Rossman said he agreed to the plea to avoid a more severe penalty that could result from a trial.

Rossman was initially charged with strangulation, terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment on April 3. According to court documents, Mifflin County Regional Police responded to a report of an assault in Decatur Township on April 1. The victim, Camryn Treaster, 19, of Lewistown, told police that Rossman pushed and shoved her, causing her to fall against a wall, floor and cabinets. Treaster said Rossman, then, placed his hand around her neck in an attempt to choke her, interrupting her ability to breath. Police observed bruising on Treaster’s arms, leg and buttocks and finger marks on her neck. Treaster told police that Rossman had made threats that he would use a gun to kill her if she told anyone what had happened.

Treaster was also charged with harassment on April 5 and was found guilty during a summary trial on May 1, held before Magisterial District Judge Kent Smith, according to court documents. Treaster was sentenced to pay fines and costs totaling more than $235.

Barron sentenced Rossman to 12 months probation and participation in the Mifflin County Domestic Violence Intervention Program. According to the county website, the program runs for 26 weeks and is conducted by a local counseling group. Rossman was also sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution, a $100 fine and is not to have any contact with Treaster.