Child abuse suspect turns self in, can't post $10K bail
CATAWISSA - Following his arraignment on child abuse charges Friday morning, Matthew J. Sacks denied committing the offenses and said he didn't know why he was being arrested.
Sacks, 25, of Numidia, who suffers from Tourette syndrome and has a history of child abuse and other criminal offenses, turned himself in at the office of Magisterial District Judge Craig Long prior to his 10 a.m. arraignment. He was committed to Columbia County Prison, Bloomsburg, in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.
Sacks was charged Thursday by Locust Township Patrolman Nicholas Thorpe with three felony counts each of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, and three misdemeanor counts each of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
He is accused of assaulting his 2-month-old son in October at his residence, causing the child to suffer multiple fractures and bruises.
Sacks' attorney, Greg Moro, Bloomsburg, requested percentage bail or unsecured bail for his client, but after hearing from Thorpe about the defendant's criminal history, Long set cash bail.
Moro waived the reading of the criminal complaint filed against Sacks.
The defendant told the judge he is currently unemployed and has lived with his mother, stepfather and sister at 909 Numidia Drive for three years.
Moro said Sacks demonstrated by turning himself in that he isn't a flight risk. Moro also said there was an explanation for his client's alleged actions, but he did not go into detail.
Sacks, who has in the past undergone a mental health evaluation, was previously incarcerated for failure to pay child support. Moro said Sacks pleaded guilty in 2008 to a misdemeanor of furnishing alcohol to minors and paid a fine and costs, but served no jail time.
But Thorpe told the judge Sacks was originally charged with indecent exposure and indecent assault in the case and ended up pleading guilty to the furnishing offense.
The officer cited a 2008 case in which Sacks was accused of physically abusing his then 4-month-old daughter.
Thorpe also mentioned a March 2013 case in which Sacks was found in possession of a handgun.
Others don't feel safe
He said witnesses in the current child abuse case don't feel safe around Sacks and recommended the defendant be imprisoned until at least his preliminary hearing, scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20.
In addition to committing Sacks to prison, Long ordered the defendant to avoid contact with his own children and all minors.