Saturday, July 26, 2014

Guilty plea in stomach-ripping assault

West Hazleton man stuck fist into woman in drug-fueled attack

June 11. 2014 12:05AM

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WILKES-BARRE — A West Hazleton man accused of inserting his fist into a woman’s anus and pulling out stomach tissue during a drug-fueled attack last year has pleaded guilty in Luzerne County Court.

Emmanuel Paulino, 30, admitted to two felony counts of aggravated assault in an appearance before Judge Fred A. Pierantoni III. The charges carry a maximum of 30 years behind bars.

The Nov. 19 attack, during which Paulino was accused of being high on an illegal club drug called “Molly,” made national and international headlines for its graphic details.

State police said they arrived at a West 24th Street apartment in Hazle Township to find a woman lying in a fetal position on the floor, bleeding profusely. They also encountered Paulino.

The Times Leader does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The victim told an emergency medical technician called to the scene that Paulino inserted a closed fist into her. She indicated she did not want this to happen, and that Paulino had pulled something out of her, according to court papers.

Prior to undergoing surgery, the woman told police that she and Paulino were going to engage in consensual sex, but Paulino “freaked out,” grabbed her by the neck and started choking her.

Paulino then inserted his fist into the woman’s anus.

The victim told police she screamed through the assault and told Paulino to “get out,” but the attack did not stop until one of her minor children walked into the bedroom at the sound of her screaming, court papers state.

In an interview with police, Paulino said he put his hand inside the victim “and pulled something out. I pulled out something sticky that stuck to my hand,” according to court papers.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross later identified the matter as stomach tissue.

Arrest and aftermath

In court papers, police said Paulino admitted to taking six doses of the drug known as Molly, which is a pure form of MDMA, the chemical found in Ecstasy, another club drug.

While being led into his arraignment before District Judge James Dixon the day of the attack, Paulino indicated he wasn’t worried because he has Jesus on his side.

That apparent confidence turned into something else in the following days, as Paulino twice had to be hospitalized for self-inflicted injuries following his initial incarceration in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. Police said he tried to rip two sutures from his own head — they had been applied after Paulino head-butted a trooper during his arrest. He later ran into a cell door, smashing his head.

“We believe those Mollies are still in his system and it’s causing this behavior,” J. Allen Nesbitt, Luzerne County director of correctional services, said in a Nov. 22 interview.

Charges and plea

Paulino initially was charged with rape, two counts of aggravated assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, two counts of aggravated indecent assault, two counts of indecent assault and simple assault.

All but the two aggravated assault charges were withdrawn as part of the plea, which was entered Monday before Pierantoni.

In a separate drug case from September, Paulino also pleaded guilty to one count of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin) and one count of criminal conspiracy.

He agrees to pay $373 to state police and $250 to a medical lab in connection with the assault case, and $239 to the Commonwealth in the drug case.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 28.

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