2023 Nanticoke PD News
Judge slams child predator with 50-100 years in prison for sex abuse case
Bob Kalinowski – Citizens Voice
A man convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl in Nanticoke will spend at least 50 years in state prison for his crimes, a Luzerne County judge ruled Thursday.
Luzerne County President Judge Michael Vough ordered Jayson S. Montanez to serve 50 to 100 years in prison following his conviction at his September jury trial.
It took a jury just 20 minutes to find Montanez guilty — despite his claims of innocence from the witness stand.
“Not only are his crimes egregious and heartbreaking but his continued denials shows he is not someone who could be reformed,” Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Shana Messinger said. “He has dangerous sexual proclivities.”
Montanez, 36, who lived at 209 W. Church St. in Nanticoke, was accused of molesting the child while she was in his care between 2013 and 2014. The girl and her brother testified in graphic detail that Montanez repeatedly forced her to perform sex acts on him.
The 2014 case took years to finally come to trial following a series of appeals and court rulings, Messinger said.
“This was a solid outcome given the time and effort,” she said.
While jailed on the charges, police arrested Montanez on child pornography charges after his mother turned him in following her discovery of images of naked children, as young as ages 1 or 2, on his phone. He was sentenced to 18-36 months in prison in that case.
Additionally, police said he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child in Alabama in 2015, though attempts to determine his sentence in that case were not successful.
At his recent trial, Montanez and his attorney claimed that the children were being coached to fabricate their claims.
Montanez said he accepted responsibility for the pornography by pleading guilty to those charges, but he also asserted that someone had sent the images to him unsolicited and that he thought he had deleted them.
Montanez was sentenced on eight total charges including deviate sexual intercourse with a child less than 13 and aggravated indecent assault of a child.
Vehicular homicide suspect denied bail in Plymouth crash
James Halpin – Citizens Voice
A Nanticoke man accused of being high on fentanyl when he crashed and killed an 86-year-old pedestrian in Plymouth will remain in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility pending trial, a judge ordered Friday.
Jose Calo, 58, of 125 Pine St., is facing vehicular homicide charges for causing the June 25 crash that claimed the life of Plymouth resident James Mahon.
During a brief video hearing Friday, Chief Public Defender Steven Greenwald sought bail for Calo, who has been jailed without bail since his arrest in October.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas Hogans opposed the motion, saying Calo is a flight risk and a danger to the community. This is Calo’s third driving-under-the-influence arrest, and took place while his driver’s license was suspended, the prosecutor said.
He also argued that Calo is a flight risk.
Plymouth police Capt. Michael Thomas testified that when he went to make the arrest, Calo refused to open the door and then tried to run. Calo was ultimately captured after fleeing out a back door, Thomas said.
Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough denied the motion for bail.
Police said Calo’s red Ford Explorer veered into oncoming traffic in the area of 39 E. Main St., nearly colliding with another vehicle before stopping along the northbound curb.
Calo then resumed driving and hit two vehicles, knocking Mahon to the ground, prosecutors allege. Calo’s Ford Explorer continued moving forward, running Mahon over with both driver’s side tires, according to prosecutors.
Mahon suffered severe trauma and later died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp.
Authorities allege Calo was high on fentanyl at the time of the crash.
Calo is charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, causing a fatal accident while not properly licensed, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, careless driving, disobeying a traffic lane and failing to stop at a traffic signal.
Nanticoke mother sentenced for smothering son who interrupted sex
WILKES-BARRE — A woman from Nanticoke was recently sentenced in Luzerne County Court for smothering her son with a pillow after the boy interrupted her having sex.
Judge David W. Lupas sentenced Sharon Wallace, 40, of Slope Street, to two-to-four years in state prison on charges of strangulation, endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault. Wallace was convicted of the charges following a non-jury trial Nov. 8.
Wilkes-Barre police in court records say Wallace and her son, who suffers from attention deficit disorder, were staying at a hotel on Kidder Street because they were homeless in November 2020.
Luzerne County Children and Youth Services reportedly paid for the hotel stay.
While in a hotel room, Wallace was in a bed with her son who fell asleep. Wallace then climbed into another bed and engaged in sexual relations with a man, court records say.
The boy woke up and threw a pillow at Wallace who, in turn, used the pillow to smother the boy’s face for three to four minutes, according to court records.