NORRISTOWN — A Hatfield Township man faces up to six years in prison after he admitted to sexually assaulting and choking a woman at his residence during an attack that ended when the woman slashed the man with a knife.
David Andrew Mendenko, 29, of the first block of Crestwood Court, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Monday to 3-to-6-years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of sexual assault and strangulation in connection with the May 2018 incident at his residence.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill also ordered Mendenko to complete five years’ probation following parole, meaning Mendenko will be under court supervision for 11 years.
Prosecutors Nicholas Beeson and Bridget Gallagher sought a lengthy prison term against Mendenko.
“He’s going to be incarcerated a very long time, protecting the victim and the general public,” said Gallagher, explaining the significance of the sentence.
Mendenko also faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police in order to comply with Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.
David Andrew Mendenko, 29, of #Hatfield Township, was sentenced in #MontcoPa #Court to 3-to-6-years in a state prison after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of sexual assault and strangulation in connection with a May 2018 incident at his residence. Story coming— Carl Hessler Jr. (@MontcoCourtNews) November 25, 2019
Mendenko, who was represented by defense lawyer Erin P. Boyle, previously lost a bid to withdraw his guilty plea.
During a previous hearing, Mendenko, through his lawyer, maintained that at the time of his guilty plea he “was not fully aware” that he would also have to register his address with police for a lifetime.
Beeson opposed Mendenko’s request, arguing that with no new evidence or new information being provided by the defense, essentially nothing had changed since Mendenko pleaded guilty. Beeson also argued allowing Mendenko to withdraw the plea “would have a tremendous negative impact on the victim in the case…who was distraught when she found out the defendant was trying to do this.”
Hatfield police responded to Mendenko’s residence at the Brookside Manor Apartments about 4:51 a.m. May 5, 2018, for a report of a physical disturbance. A woman told police that Mendenko, who she knew, attacked her while they were both at the residence after returning there from an area bar.
Mendenko choked the woman with both hands and pulled off her jeans in an attempt to rape her, the woman told police, according to the criminal complaint. The woman told police she fought back by hitting Mendenko.
“He then strangled (the woman) by placing his hands around her throat and cutting off her air supply. (The woman) pulled Mendenko’s beard and attempted to push him off her but he continued to strangle her until she lost consciousness,” Hatfield Police Officer Keith Blank alleged in the arrest affidavit.
A #Hatfield Township man faces up to six years in prison after he admitted to sexually assaulting and choking a woman at his residence during an attack that ended when the woman slashed the man with a knife.That story coming from #MontcoPa #Court— Carl Hessler Jr. (@MontcoCourtNews) November 25, 2019
When the woman regained consciousness she broke free and ran to the kitchen where she retrieved a large, serrated knife for protection, police said. Mendenko grabbed the woman and began choking her again, police said.
“She told Mendenko she would stab him if he continued to attack her. Mendenko attacked (the woman) yet again by forcing her onto the mattress and pinning her down. (The woman) slashed Mendenko once on the right arm,” alleged Blank, adding the woman was able to escape from the apartment and seek help at a nearby residence.
Police said the woman was “visibly shaken.”
“There were multiple abrasions around her neck and redness and swelling was observed by her right eyebrow. (The woman’s) arms were scratched in several places and there was a contusion on her lower right leg. Multiple defensive wounds were observed on her fingers and there were bloodstains on the front of her shirt,” Blank alleged.
Police said Mendenko suffered a laceration to his forearm, the result of the woman slashing him with the knife. Police also observed Mendenko to have scratches and contusions to his face and a bite mark on the right side of his chest from the woman “defending herself from the strangulation and sexual assault,” Blank alleged.
Other charges of aggravated and simple assault, rape, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person and indecent assault were dismissed against Mendenko in exchange for his guilty plea to the felony sexual assault and strangulation charges.