ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Lehigh County judge declined to lower the bail for a man suspected of beating a woman with a baseball bat this summer and leaving her in the woods.
Anthony C. Yerger, of Central Road in Lynn Township, faces aggravated assault and related charges in connection to an alleged assault that occurred this August in a wooded area off Schneck Street in North Whitehall Township. Authorities arrested the 21-year-old on Oct. 17.
He waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday during a brief hearing before District Judge Wayne Maura.
Yerger has been in Lehigh County Jail since his arraignment after failing to post $250,000 bail.
The defense asked the judge to consider lowering Yerger's bail to $15,000. But county pre-trial services said he provided an unverified address and has a pending hearing in Carbon County to revoke his bail on a separate criminal case.
Nesquehoning Borough police charged Yerger with statutory sexual assault and two counts of corruption of minors. Bail in that case had originally been set at $100,000 after his December arraignment and lowered to $10,000 in January. Yerger has been free since posting bail in February.
Prosecutors opposed the request based on the "brutality" of the alleged offenses and the fact that Yerger may have been in contact with the victim before his arrest. The judge maintained the $250,000 bail. Yerger's next court date is a formal arraignment scheduled for Dec. 8.
Pennsylvania State Police began their investigation shortly before 1 a.m. Aug. 23 at Palmerton Hospital in Carbon County. Troopers were called for an assault victim who had just been brought into the emergency room.
The victim, who had visible injuries to her right arm and leg and hands, told authorities that she had been attacked from behind while walking near Spruce Street and was struck several times with a baseball bat. She had been in a car with Yerger just before the attack, according to court records.
The victim sustained a broken right forearm, a broken right hand, bruising and a cut on her leg that required stitches.
State police interviewed Yerger at his New Tripoli apartment about an hour later. He told investigators that the victim had recently stolen from their employer and that he had asked her on a ride to discuss it. Court records do not indicate whether his claims about the victim were accurate.
Yerger said he dropped the victim near the McDonalds on Route 873 in North Whitehall Township after they began arguing and drove home, according to court records.
During a follow-up interview with police, the victim said Yerger had asked her the night before to go hiking. They drove to a remote area and walked into the woods.
She told investigators that Yerger attacked her from behind, choking her with his forearm. When the victim regained consciousness, she said Yerger was standing over her holding a wooden baseball bat that he used to hit her as many as 20 times, according to records.
Yerger reportedly told the victim “it would be worse,” if she “returned to the farm.” Court records do not clarify his comments.
The victim said Yerger left her in the woods and drove away, while she walked to a bank to call for help.
The victim’s boyfriend told police he found a wooden baseball bat outside Yerger’s apartment, which is located at the couple’s address.
Police charged Yerger with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment.
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