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Fifth suspect to face trial in woman’s beating

Victim says she was punched, stunned with a Taser and locked in closet for two hours.

WILKES-BARRE – A city man charged in a case in which police say a woman was punched, stunned with a Taser and locked in a closet for two hours will face a trial in Luzerne County Court.

Lee Nicholas Bernsdorf, 26, of Monroe Street, appeared Thursday in court, where his attorney, Brian Corcoran, asked a judge to tentatively schedule his client for a two-day trial.

Luzerne County Judge William Amesbury said Bernsdorf will likely be tried in January, as prosecutors must bring him to trial by Feb. 21 under speedy trial rules, unless a guilty plea is worked out.

Bernsdorf faces charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, criminal conspiracy and reckless endangerment.

Police arrested Bernsdorf and four other men after Joan Rosengrant reported she was forced into Bernsdorf’s Monroe Street home last Dec. 30 and beaten for several hours.

The four other men, all of Wilkes-Barre, are awaiting trial. They are: Ronald Cottle, 36, Young Williams, 40, Timothy Buckner, 33, and Kevin Lewis, 25.

Police alleged Rosengrant was forced to sit down and was repeatedly struck by the four men and a woman. When the beating stopped, Rosengrant said, she was forced to take off her shoes and place her feet in a bucket with boiling water.

She escaped by running out of the rear door when she was taken out of the closet to use the bathroom.

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