WILKES-BARRE — A former Luzerne County Sheriff’s deputy who pleaded no-contest to allegations she assaulted a woman who had been dating her former girlfriend was released from probation early on Friday.
Jennifer M. Roberts, 35, of Wilkes-Barre Township, was terminated from her job in August 2011 after the July 2011 incident involving Sheila Sult of Wilkes-Barre.
She entered the plea to a charge of simple assault before Luzerne County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. on the day she was scheduled to stand trial in September 2012. The judge sentenced her on that day to 18 months of probation.
Roberts also was to have no contact with Sult, was to undergo a drug-and-alcohol evaluation and complete 25 hours of community service.
At a hearing Friday, Sklarosky determined that Roberts had complied with all terms of her probation and agreed to end her sentence early.
Court papers revealed that the assault occurred after Mary Jean Farrell, Roberts’ former girlfriend, and Roberts “exchanged words” outside the Wyoming Valley Mall in July 2011. Police then responded to a 911 hangup call at Sult’s Regent Street home hours later.
Sult said she posted some things about the encounter on Facebook, and Roberts became aware of the postings and called Farrell.
Sult said Farrell went to her house and pleaded with her to take the postings down, but she refused and asked Farrell to leave. Police said Roberts arrived and when Sult started to open the door, Roberts pushed it open and attacked Sult.
Sult testified at a preliminary hearing that she suffered a herniated disk in her neck that required surgery, swollen eyes and bruises on her head.
Roberts declined to speak with reporters following Friday’s probation hearing, but smiled broadly and laughed as she greeted acquaintances in a basement corridor at the courthouse.