Last updated: January 30. 2014 11:42PM - 3594 Views

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WRIGHT TWP. — The former secretary/treasurer for the Independence Fire & Rescue Co. No. 1 in Rice Township charged with stealing more than $30,000 from the fire department’s coffers waived her right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Ronald Swank on Wednesday.

Gina Tombasco, 30, of Horizon Village, Wright Township, waived two counts of theft and one count each of receiving stolen property and access device fraud to Luzerne County Court.

Authorities withdrew a charge of forgery against Tombasco.

Tombasco allegedly stole the money by multiple ATM withdrawals and cashed checks in her name from the fire department’s accounts from September to December, according to the criminal complaint.

WILKES-BARRE — After nearly two years on the run, a Mocanaqua man finally appeared before a judge Thursday to be sentenced on indecent assault charges from 2010.

Matthew Robert Bonser, 22, appeared in Luzerne County Court before visiting Judge Kenneth D. Brown, who sentenced him to an aggregate 11 to 23 months in county jail, followed by one week to satisfy a contempt charge for non-appearance and then two years’ probation. Bonser was given credit for 204 days already served.

Bonser, last known address as Italy Street, Mocanaqua, was charged by state police at Shickshinny with sexually assaulting two girls, 13 and 14, in the basement of a house on Main Street, Mocanaqua, in April 2010. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of indecent assault, and prosecutors withdrew felony counts of aggravated indecent assault against him on Feb. 6, 2012. He failed to appear for sentencing on May 7, 2012.

Bonser, who also was wanted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department for failing to appear on a probation violation in that county on July 25, 2012, was captured by U.S. Marshals earlier this month in Wapwallopen.

He will have to register as a lifetime sex offender under Megan’s Law.

WILKES-BARRE — A March 31 trial date has been set in the burglary case against a Plains Township woman who made headlines as a poisoning victim in a separate case.

Dawn Marie Simyan, 44, was arrested on burglary, harassment and trespassing charges in September after she allegedly showed up at her ex-husband’s house at 3:40 a.m., shouted “I will (expletive) kill you” at John Simyan and smashed out a window while pounding on the door.

Luzerne County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. approved Simyan’s request for a trial date.

Simyan fought back from potentially fatal kidney failure after ingesting antifreeze in a juice drink in March 2010. Helen Galli, the octogenarian mother of Simyan’s then-boyfriend, Victor Galli, was convicted of putting the chemical into the beverage and giving it to her son to give to Simyan.

WILKES-BARRE — The theft case against an Exeter woman have been continued while she undergoes substance-abuse treatment.

Carrie M. Skrepenak, 46, is facing charges of unauthorized use of an access device, forgery and receiving stolen property. According to police, in 2011 Skrepenak cashed a forged check for $89 made out to herself and drawn on the account of a woman who did not give her permission to do so.

Skrepenak, the estranged wife of former Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak, has a history of drug convictions dating back to 2002, serving jail sentences at the county prison and in state prison, according to court records.

County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. on Thursday authorized a status conference in the case be continued until May 29. Carrie Skrepenak is in rehab in New York, court documents indicate.

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