Beaver attorney Gerald Benyo Jr.’s criminal indictment defense and life continue to evolve.

Since Dec. 11, when he was held for trial on one harassment and two simple assault charges for an alleged October beating of his then-estranged wife Sharon Benyo:

– Sharon Benyo, 44, has twice violated his September protection from abuse order (PFA). She also was charged with resisting Rochester Township police and is again imprisoned.

– The couple’s divorce was finalized last week.

– Benyo Jr., 49, has offered to submit to a lie detector test, a voice analysis or any testing of his vehicle in his criminal case, but the county District Attorney’s Office has not taken him up on it.

The case against Benyo Jr. was initiated after sheriff’s deputies noticed injuries to Sharon Benyo’s face and body on Oct. 30 as they were serving her an arrest warrant for failing to appear for a court action. Beaver Falls police had charged her on Oct. 1 with possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Charges for her alleged assault were first filed against Benyo Jr. by Beaver Falls police on Nov. 7, and dropped after Sharon Benyo changed her story. The DA’s office then refiled the charges against him on Nov. 19 without Beaver Falls’ initial additional felony aggravated assault charge.

The DA chose to file the reduced charges because Sharon Benyo said she was inebriated when the alleged attack occurred and claimed she was later detoxing and remembering different details.

The only details Sharon Benyo didn’t change were that her then-husband beat her in a vehicle.

She told county detectives the attack occurred on Oct. 27, not Oct. 26 as she first told Beaver Falls police. She also said she couldn’t remember what town the attack took place in, or whether she was actually in Benyo Jr.’s vehicle – though she described his Hummer initially to police – or a Nissan car belonging to his mother. In addition, she said she was no longer sure that he hit her with a gun, and that it could have been his fist.

Sharon Benyo was released from custody the day after Benyo Jr. was held for trial following a preliminary hearing in the case. Within the next week, she went to his Rochester Township home twice in violation of his PFA.

The second time on Dec. 20, police said she fought her arrest, resulting in one additional charge of resisting arrest, two of disorderly conduct, and four charges of obstructing the administration of law. Police took her for medical evaluation after the second incident and then she was held on a $20,000 bond.

Benyo Jr. maintains his innocence. He is preparing for an upcoming trial status conference and says he will not accept any plea deal. He expects a trial will be in May.

He also maintains that his known criticism of the DA and his detectives’ bureau is a factor in his case. He said the county detectives’ budget needs to be reduced and that he and District Attorney “Lozier disagree on a number of issues involving his job performance and mistakes that have been made.”

“He has politicized the job more than any other (DA) in the last three decades and has not been good for Beaver County,” Benyo Jr. said, adding that Lozier’s lack of prior criminal experience “has been a complete failure.”

Benyo ran for district attorney in 2015, losing to Lozier in the Republican primary election. Prior to his arrest, he had switched to the Democratic party and announced his intention to run for district attorney again this year, but now says he will not be seeking the seat.

BeaverCountian.com’s John Paul contributed to this report

Lori Boone
Lori Boone (DeLauter) has more than 20 years of experience in investigative and community journalism. She’s won more than a dozen regional, state and national journalism awards.

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Disgruntled
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Disgruntled

18 PA Cons Stat § 5301 (2014) Official oppression.

A person acting or purporting to act in an official capacity or taking advantage of such actual or purported capacity commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, knowing that his conduct is illegal, he:

(1) subjects another to arrest, detention, search, seizure, mistreatment, dispossession, assessment, lien or other infringement of personal or property rights; or

(2) denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity.

A conviction for a misdemeanor in the 2nd degree in Pennsylvania includes from 1 to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Teddy Knafelc, your first case as DA might be against your predecessor. That would be neat!

County Of Crooks
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County Of Crooks

Oh how hilarious that would be if the tables are turned and Lozier is subject to the same treatment. Wouldn’t surprise me if Lozier had no idea he has possibly committed a crime. He has 0 criminal law knowledge after all. Knafelc for DA!!!!!!

Icanread
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Icanread

Lozier just needs to let this go. He’s not going to win re-election, whether Benyo runs against him or someone else.

Another County Chic
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Another County Chic

I like Benyo, always have. He did right by me. I dislike seeing his marital problems and messy divorce constantly popping up in the news. Dealing with that then having to deal with a low-blowing DA must be a constant headache. Glad he’s not taking a plea. Guess we’ll have to wait until May to see…..

Accordingtome
Member
Accordingtome

It would be a real shame if the next time she’s assaulted it’s by someone she describes as a goofy looking guy with tiny little chicklet teeth wearing a bullet proof vest, a ball cap, polyester pants, carrying a flip phone and swears that she has seen him on a pair of socks before.

Hmmmm…..no, on second thought it might actually be ironic

Just saying.

Ricimer
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Ricimer

As usual in Beaver County. The District attorneys office uses the drug addicted mentally ill and other unfortunates to do there dirty work. The DA should be charged with assaulting Attorney Benyo and official oppression. And for knowingly filing false charges against Benyo.

John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

When I needed help, Gerald Benyo offered his professional defense skills and did an excellent job defending me. For that, I will always be grateful and consider him a good friend. Benyo has constantly been delivered underhanded sneaky blows by elected and appointed officials of this county. I admire Gerald Benyo. As for Sharon Benyo, I do not know anything about her and have no opinion or comment.

Gringo
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Gringo

We all know you have wet dreams about Benyo so spare us all.

AccordingtomeSays
Guest
AccordingtomeSays

And your wet dreams must be over Lozier. So I’m not really sure that you have a lot of room to be casting judgement in my opinion.

Gringo
Guest
Gringo

No I think Lozier is a wimp,he is not the one I dream about, maybe it’s you, but then again I am sure nobody dreams of you. You questioning my casting judgment is actually casting judgment by you. And please look up and understand simple words used in our English language….you know words like ironic.

AccordingtomeSays
Guest
AccordingtomeSays

Oh, then please, let me clear it up so that you don’t misunderstand; I’m most certainly casting judgement you. While I appreciate your suggestion (not really), I’m well aware of the definition of the word ironic and the use of that word was intentional.

PS – Sweet dreams.