The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 5, 2013

Rape charges dropped against Sunbury man

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — A Sunbury man was cleared of rape allegations Monday after the Northumberland County district attorney’s office agreed to drop the charges.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski said she agreed to dismiss the counts because of stress on the alleged victim, but she said she still believed Ben Scheller was guilty of the alleged rape. In November, the district attorney’s office said they were adamant in pursuing the charge.

“The victim needed closure to all of this,” Targonski said Monday. “We are not denying this rape occurred, and with the victim needing that closure and all the public scrutiny around this case, we have agreed to drop that charge.”

Scheller, 34, agreed to plead guilty to terroristic threats, two counts of simple assault and false imprisonment in connection with the March incident in the home of the Point Township woman.

Scheller, who was held in the county prison from March until December, received time served and two years of probation as his sentence.

He appeared before Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor, who initially was reluctant to hear the plea agreement because of yet another spark of drama related to the case. Saylor was not made aware the proceedings were going to be held Monday.