PSP investigating aggravated assault of 2-year-old Fox Twp. female

Staff Writer

The Ridgway-based State Police are currently investigating the alleged assault of a two-year-old Fox Township female.
Deborah Marie-Thornton Schmitz, 20, of Willow Street, Johnsonburg and Matthew James Mercer, 28, of Main Street, Kersey, are facing multiple felony charges related to the alleged assault of the youth.
The female juvenile victim was reportedly subjected to physical abuse and neglect from Mercer and Schmitz in a residence located along Main Street in Fox Township.
Both have been charged with aggravated assault - victim less than six and defendant 18 or older, a second-degree felony; endangering the welfare of children - parent/guardian/other commits offense, a third-degree felony; simple assault, a first-degree misdemeanor; and harassment - subject other to physical contact.
Affidavits of probable cause detailing the charges were not available Monday afternoon as the defendants had not yet been arraigned.
Online court documents indicate Mercer's preliminary arraignment was held Monday evening at 6 p.m. in the courtroom of on-call Magisterial District Judge Barry D. Brown.
Mercer was placed in Elk County Prison in lieu of $25,000 cash bail.
Schmitz was arraigned Monday evening at 6:15 p.m. before Brown and was also placed in Elk County Prison in lieu of $25,000 cash bail.
A preliminary hearing for Schmitz is scheduled for Nov. 22 at 9:15 a.m. in the courtroom of Magisterial District Judge Mark S. Jacob of St. Marys. Mercer's hearing is scheduled to follow at 9:45 a.m.

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