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Pa. man sentenced on assault, theft charges

February 09, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man convicted of vandalizing a cemetery, thefts from vehicles and statutory sexual assault was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to four to eight years in state prison.

Scott A. Plantz, 21, of 142 Kennedy St., also was sentenced by Judge Douglas W. Herman to four years on probation to follow his prison sentence.

Plantz was arrested by Chambersburg police on May 29, 2003, after he and another man were going to different homes in the borough trying to convince the occupants to let them inside, according to court records. Plantz confessed to breaking into one home on May 25 with several other people and stealing a stereo, alcohol, food, clothing and jewelry, court records allege.

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Police later charged Plantz with stealing tools, compact discs, a video camera and other items from several vehicles in February and March. The stolen goods were worth about $3,000.

On or before March 20, Plantz was among several people, some of them juveniles, who knocked over or broke 22 tombstones in the Cedar Grove Cemetery on North Franklin Street, the affidavit states. Damage from that was estimated at approximately $6,000.

During the course of the investigation, police learned Plantz was having sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl, the affidavit of probable cause alleges.

Plantz pleaded guilty Nov. 12 to institutional vandalism, burglary, two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit burglary, statutory sexual assault and four counts of receiving stolen property in exchange for numerous other charges being dismissed.

"I was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time," Plantz told Herman when asked why he had committed the crimes.

A psychiatric evaluation described Plantz as having some possible mental health issues, but fell short of a diagnosis of any specific disorder.

"None of these things ... were reasons that caused or were justification for what you did," Herman said.

Plantz was given credit for the eight months he has served since his arrest.

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