HONESDALE—On February 22, Senior Judge Raymond Hamill sentenced Steven J. Schuman, 36, to a period of 54 months to 144 months in a State Correctional Institution for one count of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, a felony of the first degree.
The incident occurred on May 25, 2017 and Schuman plead guilty to the charge in December, 2017.
Following an argument, Schuman stabbed a female victim in the neck three times with a knife at a Hawley residence.
According to a press release from the District Attorney's (DA) Office, the victim was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital and then on to Geisinger CMC Hospital to treat her wounds.
The victim was present for the sentencing Thursday morning with a letter she had prepared for the defendant.
First Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Deborah Rothenberg read the letter aloud, the contents of which pointed to the victim's ongoing distress, fear and mistrust of people following the incident last May.
The letter referred to Schuman's actions as “vile and deranged,” noting the victim would forever be left with the scar on her neck as a reminder of his attack.
Rothenberg further called to the court's attention the fact that Schuman had a prior conviction in 2004 for a similar assault on a female victim.
“His mental state makes him dangerous,” said Rothenberg, asking for a stricter sentence.
The defendant did not wish to speak, but his attorney, Steven Burlein, sated Schuman displays a very Jekyll and Hyde persona as both an intelligent, hard-working individual, but also as one who suffers from bi-polar disorder and has taken to heavy drinking as a coping mechanism for the more horrid aspects of his nature.
“I believe he does show remorse,” said Burlein, noting the defendant understands the case very easily could have been a homicide.
In delivering the sentence, Judge Hamill alluded to Schuman's prior offense as a point of concern that rehabilitation might be ineffective.
Moreover, the Judge noted the differing sides of Schuman are problematic: “There's two different people and that's a concern to this court; one is hard working, one is a predator who prays on women.”
In a press release, DA Patrick Robinson states, “The Wayne County District Attorney’s Office has a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding Domestic Violence.”
Noting why such is necessary, he continues, “Cases like this are usually the result of an escalating pattern of violent behavior.
“Swift and strong action at the beginning of these escalating patterns will deter many abusers from reaching the horrific level of violence exhibited in this case.”
The DA concluded, “In any event Defendant Schuman will definitely be deterred from abusing any women for the next 4 1⁄2 years to 12 years.”