“No Contest” Plea in Home Invasion

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A man of beating a woman during a home invasion entered a plea Friday in Lackawanna County.

In court Ryland Jones claimed he has no recollection whatsoever of that night last September.

Jones, of Archbald, admits mixing alcohol and prescription pills the night he went into the home in Jermyn. He is not fully admitting to the crime, but prosecutors said he could face a hefty prison sentence.

According to court documents, around 4 a.m. Jones went up to the house in Jermyn and started pounding on the door.

The victim no longer lives there, but she told police Jones beat her and tried to sexually assault her.

Jones was charged with burglary and aggravated sexual assault, and will now be registered as a sex offender under Megan's Law.

Jones entered a "no contest" plea in court because, he said, he doesn't remember the attack.  He admitted in court that he had been dropped off at the house in Jermyn, but said he thought it was his house in Archbald.  Jones said he thought the woman inside was robbing him.

"It seemed like he was trying to make an excuse, and again there is no excuse for the horror that the victim endured that night," said Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Mariclaire Hayes.

People said a crime like this is unheard of in a small town like Jermyn, and even months later, it is still on neighbors' minds.

"I have a wife and a daughter, and it's scary. You see more and more random break-ins to houses. It's unusual," said Ron Turpack of Jermyn.

"There's more people out there that are like him that will do that. It's just kind of weird that it would happen in this neighborhood," added Angie Salek of Jermyn.

Jones did apologize to his victim in court. For sentencing purposes, his "no contest" plea is the equivalent of a guilty plea. Jones will be sentenced later on this year. He could face up to 60 years in prison.