Suspended correctional officer pleads guilty to harassment
A suspended Lackawanna County Prison correctional officer accused of assaulting his wife pleaded guilty Monday in Central Court to a summary charge of harassment
By David Singleton
SCRANTON, Pa. — A suspended Lackawanna County Prison correctional officer accused of assaulting his wife pleaded guilty Monday in Central Court to a summary charge of harassment.
More serious charges against Lee Kaczmarek, 25, of Dunmore, - including aggravated and simple assault and terroristic threats - were withdrawn.
Borough police arrested Mr. Kaczmarek on March 8 after his wife, Holly Kaczmarek, came to police headquarters and told officers her husband choked and threatened to kill her at their Gibbons Street home.
According to the arrest affidavit, the couple were arguing when Mr. Kaczmarek grabbed his wife’s neck and pressed her against a couch. As he choked her to the point where she could not breathe, he told her he wished he could choke her dead, the woman told police.
Magisterial District Judge Sean McGraw ordered Mr. Kaczmarek to undergo a 26-week domestic violence counseling course as well as a drug and alcohol evaluation, Deputy District Attorney Gene Riccardo said. He also was fined $300.
Mr. Riccardo said the more serious charges against the officer were withdrawn “based on the fact the victim was unwilling to go forward.”
Mr. Riccardo and attorney Gerard Karam, who represented Mr. Kaczmarek, said Mrs. Kaczmarek also indicated she intends to withdraw a protection from abuse petition she filed after the incident.
It was unclear how Mr. Kaczmarek’s guilty plea will affect his employment.
Mr. Kaczmarek and correctional officer Joshua Thomas, who was arrested by Scranton police March 16 in a separate domestic violence incident, both remain suspended without pay pending due-process hearings, Warden Robert McMillan said.
Mr. Thomas, 35, of Scranton, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 21 on charges of simple assault and harassment.