Over $15,000 in restitution


By Kelly Waters

TWI Reporter

HONESDALE - A man accused of gnawing at a woman's face is now in jail.

On Thursday morning in the Wayne County Courthouse, Richard Cimino, 21, was sentenced for an incident that occurred on Sept. 7, 2012.

His total sentence from Judge Raymond Hamill is 90 days to 23-1/2 years in prison at the Wayne County Correctional Facility. Cimino also has to pay the cost of prosecution, pay $15,693.11 in restitution at a minimum of $200 a month, pay a $50 per month supervision fee, refrain from the use of drugs and alcohol, undergo drug and alcohol testing, attend a minimum of one AA meeting per week and pay a $200 fine for count 8, criminal mischief.

Cimino was credited for 28 days for inpatient rehab and one day in jail. For count 4, simple assault, he received 30 days to 12 months in prison; for count 6, indecent exposure, he received 30 days to 5 months in prison. For count 9, terroristic threats, he received 30 days to 6-1/2 months.

Bizarre incident

Cimino faced multiple charges following a bizarre incident on Sept. 7 on Hudson Street in Hawley. Police said sometime between 4:30 and 5:15 a.m., he drove his vehicle off the road and behind a residence on Hudson Street.

Cimino then exited the vehicle and stripped off all of his clothing, except his underwear, and then attempted to break in a residence.

The resident was awakened by the noise and eventually drove Cimino off the property. The man then took off in his underwear and continued down Hudson Street.

After breaking into an empty house, he jumped out of a window, causing severe injuries to himself.

He then approached two women walking down the road, tackling one of them, causing injury and also covering her in his blood. Police said he then began to gnaw at her head and scream like an animal.

Both females were able to escape and contact police. When officials arrived, they found Ciminio lying in the road covered in blood and "displaying delusional and confrontational behavior."

At one point, he attempted to lunge at a state trooper and was then tazered by another. While being treated, he punched an EMT in the face, causing minor injuries.

He was thought to have been using bath salts at the time of the incident.

'Made terrible mistake'

On March 7 Cimino pleaded guilty to one count of simple assault, a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree; one count of terroristic threats, a misdemeanor of the 1st degree; one count of indecent exposure, a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree; and one count of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor of the 3rd degree.

During the sentencing Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said that the charge of terroristic threats, a misdemeanor 1, was added on Feb. 27.

Cimino's attorney, Paul Walker, asked Hamill if people who didn't submit letters to the court could speak. They were Cimino's uncle, mom and one of his sponsors. Hamill let his mom address the court.

"He made a terrible mistake that almost cost him his life," she said. "He's been remorseful and truly sorry for what happened. He's working hard to try to redeem himself. He's even had six surgeries to repair his hands and deals with those struggles."

She added that Cimino has been sober for about eight months and even re-enrolled in college in January where he completed the semester. He's also enrolled for a summer session as well as the fall semester.

"I honestly believe he'll continue to be healthy constructively," she said. "I believe there's a reason he was spared that night."

Apology letters

"He almost died that night," said Walker. "Each day he wakes up and has to see the scars, both physically and mentally, from what happened. For the rest of his life he'll suffer from those physical scars because of his actions, but he made the effort to get better. That speaks volumes about him."

Walker added that Cimino rehabilitated himself through seeing a psychologist, undergoing outpatient and ultrasound therapy. Walker explained that Cimino knew he couldn't contact the victims, but was able to send them letters through him (Walker). Cimino also did this for the emergency personnel who helped him on the day of the incident.

"Within weeks after the incident he came to me about sending those letters," Walker said. "I think he's truly remorseful and truly sorry for his actions. He has to wake up each day and see the scars, which will remind him of what happened. He has to live with that the rest of his life."

Cimino speaks

Cimino had the opportunity to address the court. He started with thanking the court for letting him speak.

"I just want to thank everyone who came to my rescue and were able to save my life," said Cimino through tears. "Words can't express my gratitude for you helping me despite what I did. I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart to all who was affected by this. Not a day passes by where I don't think about what I did and how it makes me feel. I hope that through my actions of trying to get better that my true character has been shown and I hope that nothing like this will ever happen again."

Cimino added that he completed a 90-day outpatient program, went to drug and alcohol counseling and started attending AA meetings. He also meets two times a week with a psychologist.

"Like my mom said, we believe I was spared for a reason," he said. "At the very least I think I was spared to show that there's a better way to live. I apologize to all involved in the event."

When asked what would make people believe he won't fall back into his old patterns, Cimino explained that despite everything that's going on with this, "this is the best I've felt."

"I give you credit that you took responsibility for your actions and pled guilty," said Hamill. "I'm glad that the women walking that day weren't more severely injured."

There were letters and impact statements submitted by the victims and Hamill said that he "didn't see any vindictiveism" in them at all.

"The victims didn't make the choice to have a life altering event, but you did," he said.