CLEARFIELD – It took a jury about an hour to find a former Cherry Tree man guilty of several assault charges Tuesday but acquitted him of rape.
William R. Winkelman, 49, whose address is now listed as Brockway in court documents, had been charged with assaulting the victim on three different occasions at a Burnside Township residence beginning in December of 2018.
He was found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of simple assault and one count each of strangulation, sexual assault, terroristic threats and unlawful restraint.
The jury determined he was not guilty of the additional charge of felony rape.
In addition, Judge Paul Cherry found him guilty of three summary harassment charges.
After the verdicts were announced, Deputy District Attorney Trudy Lumadue, asked Judge Paul Cherry to revoke his bail due to the defendant’s “violent nature.”
Defense Attorney Joshua Maines argued that Winkelman had been on bail for months and there was no reason to think he would not appear for sentencing.
Cherry responded that circumstances were different now that Winkelman has been convicted of several felony offenses. He then revoked Winkelman’s bail and asked he be taken into custody by the sheriff’s department.
In a separate case in July, Winkelman was acquitted of felony strangulation and simple assault of the same victim that allegedly occurred March 11, 2020. For information on that trial, click here.
The charges in the current trial were filed in December of 2020 as a response to reports from the victim on previous assaults.
During an interview after the trial, Lumadue said this trial had more direct evidence including photos of the victim’s injuries and corroborating witnesses. The commonwealth’s case showed this was a regular pattern of abuse and not one incident.
Lumadue noted that Winkelman could get a minimum sentence of 22 months to 36 months for each of the aggravated assault charges, 12 to 24 months for strangulation and a possible 36 months to 54 months for sexual assault when he is sentenced within 90 days.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim told police that on Dec. 25, 2018 she was watching a movie when Winkelman, who was drinking heavily got angry and punched her in the face.
He then grabbed her by the hair, dragging her through the house, smacking her head on the walls and floor. Next, he kicked her in the ribs and stomach.
Instead of going to a hospital, she treated her injuries herself.
The next assault, on Feb. 10, 2019, started with Winkelman accusing her of cheating on him. As she tried to get away, he again grabbed her by the hair and placed his arm around her neck. He then “started to punch, kick and slap” her.
While she was on her stomach, he tightened his arm around her neck, restricting her ability to breathe.
She told investigators he then got a vacuum cord, which he wrapped around her throat. As she tried to stop the cord from wrapping around her neck with her hands, he tied her hands with the cord.
He then stated that “today is the day that you die” adding he would then kill himself, according to the report.
The third assault occurred Jan. 1, 2020 after she was awakened by Winkelman screaming “overtop of her on the phone.”
He ripped her out of bed and again dragged her by her hair through the house, she said.
After she managed to escape and get into the bathroom, he tried to strangle her there as they wrestled around the room.
Her head was smashed into a mirror in the room repeatedly. As they struggled, a knife fell out of a laundry hamper onto the floor.
Winkelman picked up the knife and pointed it at her before instructing her to go back into the bedroom and have sex with him. She was told that if she tried to leave, he would kill her.
After they finished, he told her again that if she got out of bed, he would kill her, according to the complaint.