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First Posted: 2/4/2015

Wilkes-Barre man arrested on child pornography charges

Agents with the state Office of Attorney General arrested a man from Poplar Street late Thursday on charges he downloaded videos and pictures of children engaged in sex acts.

Anthony Joseph Bielut, 48, told agents the reason he looked at child pornography was out of boredom and self pleasure, according to charges filed.

Bielut was arraigned by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township on six counts of child pornography and one count each of dissemination of children engaged in sex acts and criminal use of communication facility. He remained jailed Friday at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

State agents had been investigating Bielut allegedly downloading inappropriate videos and pictures since June.

Liquor Control enforcement officer charged with DUI after crash in Hanover Twp.

A state Liquor Control enforcement officer who tested more than three times above the limit for driving drunk after a crash last month waived his charges to Luzerne County Court.

Michael Rutkowski, 34, of Espy Street, Nanticoke, has been placed on restricted duty following the Jan. 9 crash on Front Street, a state spokeswoman said Friday.

Rutkowski waived his preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 30 before District Judge Joseph Halesey. Rutkowski, who is charged with driving under the influence and careless driving, is free on his own recognizance.

Blood-alcohol content (BAC) results registered 0.278 percent for Rutkowski, according to the affidavit of probable cause to support the charges. An adult driver 20 years and older in Pennsylvania is considered intoxicated with a BAC of 0.08 percent.

Former Hanover Township man sentenced to probation for stalking four women

A man formerly from Hanover Township was sentenced in Luzerne County Court for stalking three teenage girls, a woman, and performing lewd acts upon himself.

Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. sentenced Bobby Dean Willard III, 28, to five years probation on two counts of stalking and one count each of indecent exposure and open lewdness.

Willard, who lived in the 300 block of Lyndwood Avenue when he was arrested in April 2014, has relocated to Pittsburgh at which the Allegheny County Probation Department will be responsible for his supervision.

According to court records:

State police at Wyoming said Willard admitted to following three girls, two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old, from a restaurant in Dupont to a residence on April 10. One of the girls is the daughter of a state police official.

Willard told state police he was taking a slow ride home on state Route 315 and spotted three “pretty” girls through the window of a restaurant. Willard parked his vehicle next to the only other car in the parking lot and began performing a lewd act, according to the criminal complaint.

The girls told state police they noticed Willard in the car punching himself. As they drove away, the girls said Willard followed them to the point they believed Willard was going to collide with their car.

Woodlands Inn and Resort gets to keep liquor license

The Woodlands Inn and Resort, an entertainment and hotel venue on state Route 315, will keep its liquor license.

The state Commonwealth Court in a 12 page opinion upheld the October 2013 decision by Luzerne County President Judge Richard Hughes that compels the state Liquor Control Board to renew the Woodlands liquor license.

The LCB appealed Hughes’ decision to Commonwealth Court.

The Woodlands in May 2013 appealed a decision by the LCB not to renew its liquor license based on 10 violations of the liquor code dating back to 1987 and 47 alleged incidents and disturbances reported to Plains Township police. A conditional license agreement forced upon the Woodlands by the board in 2011 compelled the facility to hire more security personnel, maintain 44 surveillance cameras, provide exterior and interior lighting and have employees undergo gang awareness training.

Ex-con co-owner of Wilkes-Barre Habitat home faces new charges

The ex-con co-owner of a Stanton Street home renovated by Habitat for Humanity five years ago faces new charges.

John E. Simpson, 47, was arrested on charges of robbery, terroristic threats, theft and receiving stolen property after he allegedly robbed the CVS Pharmacy on South Main Street on Wednesday, police said.

CVS employees reported that a black male wearing a black coat, dark jeans and a hood covering his face, thought to be in his late 30s to mid 40s, entered the store at about 8:36 p.m., approached an employee and advised him to go behind the registers, or “I will bang you.” The suspect kept his right hand in his pocket during this exchange, police said.

The suspect then ordered the employee behind the registers to empty the contents of several cash drawers. After taking the cash, which employees described as several hundred dollars, the suspect fled the store on foot.

Police said officer James Conmy immediately recognized Simpson from past dealings with him as the suspect in video surveillance footage taken as he allegedly entered the store, and store employees later identified him from a photo line-up.