Rape case proceeds to court
SUNBURY - An East Cameron Township man charged with raping a 29-year-old woman with a learning disability was recommitted to the county jail Friday morning after deciding to have his case proceed in the Court of Common Pleas.
Kenneth Eugene Wertz, 48, of 4178 Upper Road, declined to enter a guilty plea in the case or confirm that he plans to take the case to trial. He was ordered by Judge Charles H. Saylor to appear for a second pre-trial conference May 3 or June 7. Wertz can still plead guilty or no contest or seek a trial at his next legal proceeding.
The defendant is charged by Trooper David Townsend of state police at Stonington with two counts each of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault, and one count of simple assault. All the charges except the misdemeanor of simple assault are felonies.
Wertz, who is incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, is accused of raping the woman at his home. In addition to allegedly raping the victim, Wertz is accused of throwing a telephone that struck her in the left eye, causing injury.
According to a criminal complaint, the victim, who reportedly was raped on a couch in the living room, did not want to have sex with Wertz, who allegedly forced himself on the victim and took her cell phone when she attempted to grab it. After allegedly being raped, police said the victim attempted to use a house telephone, which Wertz took and used to hit her in the eye.
During an interview with police, Wertz admitted to raping the victim, and hitting her in the eye with a phone, but claimed it was an accident.
Northumberland County Public Defender Paige Rosini is serving as Wertz's attorney. First Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski is the prosecutor in the case.