Man pleads not guilty to 3 counts

LEWISTOWN — Jason Hockenberry, 42, of Lewistown, waived arraignment and pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to strangulation, simple assault and harassment.

Hockenberry was charged in July after police responded to a report of a female assault victim being treated at Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital. The accuser reported that Hockenberry had assaulted her repeatedly when she attempted to gather her belongings at Hockenberry’s residence, where she had also been living. Hockenberry reportedly accused the accuser of stealing his personal belongings, yelled at her and told her she wasn’t allowed in the residence and pushed her several times the floor while she attempted to gather her belongings. Hockenberry also reportedly punched the accuser in the face and grabbed her by the throat, which allegedly prevented her from breathing, while he pushed her up against a wall. The accuser reported that a juvenile was present during the incident and witnessed the assault.

Documents state that police reported observing redness around the accuser’s throat and neck, bruising to her right eye area, an abrasion with a puncture wound to her left forearm and an abrasion to her right side of the neck. The accuser was not willing to complete a written statement.

Police reported that Upon interviewing the defendant, Hockenberry admitted that the accuser had been living with him in his residence but the leaser allegedly said she was not allowed in the residence any longer. Police advised Hockenberry that the leaser would need to evict the accuser and, until that happened, the accuser was legally allowed to be in the residence. Hockenberry told police that the accuser, when she was told she had to leave the residence, struck him and his juvenile son and that the son placed the accuser in a “chicken wing” in an effort to throw her out of the residence.

Police also reportedly interviewed the juvenile who corroborated Hockenberry’s account of the incident and advised police that the injury the accuser sustained to her forearm was already present when she arrived to the residence.

Public Defender Robert Ferguson represented Hockenberry on Tuesday and advised President Judge David Barron of Hockenberry’s desire to pursue new defense council.

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