The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 5, 2014

Man gets jail for assaulting woman

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

SOUTH PYMATUNING TOWNSHIP — Ronald L. Pickard practically begged for a probationary sentence on a charge of simple assault, but a judge turned aside his plea saying he had done too much damage.

“The impact on this young woman was pretty significant,” Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. St. John said Friday.

St. John sentenced Pickard to 4 to 23 months in jail.

Pickard, 20, of 8036 Lincoln St., Masury, was charged with sexually assaulting a woman April 30, 2012, at the state Route 846 access area along Shenango River Lake in Pymatuning Township.

The most severe charges filed against Pickard, including rape, were withdrawn when he entered his guilty plea to simple assault Nov. 12.

Pickard essentially admitted being “too rough during sex” with the 17-year-old girl, St. John said.

St. John noted the victim was dissatisfied with the plea bargain and did not approve of it when it was entered. The victim has nightmares and flashbacks, the judge said.

“I’m sorry if she took it the wrong way,” Pickard said. “I’m trying to get my life straight.”

Pickard said he wants to be around for the impending birth of his second child, and said he would pay child support for his first child – he does not have to pay because he receives disability payments due to a learning disability – as a carrot for a probationary sentence.

He also said he wants to get a job.

St. John said that even though the charge Pickard is being sentenced for is simple assault, the case is essentially a sexual assault.

Pickard, who had not spent any time in jail during the pendency of the case, was taken from the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies to start serving his sentence.