Meth dealing charges leveled against false rape suspect, husband

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WILKES-BARRE — The woman accused of falsely blaming two state troopers of rape and the husband she says abused her showed up in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon and left together in handcuffs.

State troopers allege Donald Richard Cromer, 43, and his wife, Christine A. Cromer, 37, both of 237 Maffett St., conspired to deal crystal methamphetamine while they were both out on bail in separate cases.

They were arrested after appearing in court for Donald Cromer’s preliminary hearing in another case. Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker denied bail for the couple after a county detective revealed in court that Donald Cromer, a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, has a tattoo on his forearm of the Pennsylvania State Police logo riddled with bullet holes.

“He’s definitely a threat to society,” Detective Chaz Balogh said in court. “I feel it’s only going to escalate from this point.”

The arrests took place when the Cromers showed up at Central Court on Tuesday for Donald Cromer’s preliminary hearing on false imprisonment charges. Police say Donald Cromer was in a jealous rage when he accused his wife of cheating on him and handcuffed her to a radiator. He also threatened to take Christine Cromer to a fellow gang member’s house where his friends could do “whatever they wanted” to her, police said.

When officers arrived at the family home, Donald Cromer was uncooperative and belligerent, according to the charges.

In court Tuesday, Donald Cromer’s defense attorney Joseph Gregory McGraw sought a bail change for his client, who has been free since posting $300,000 bail through a bondsman March 21. McGraw noted the Cromers have been together for 23 years and been married for 12 years of that time. They would like to get joint marriage counseling, he said.

“Certainly they should have the right to associate and seek treatment to preserve the family,” McGraw said. 

But Assistant District Attorney Angela Sperrazza countered that Donald Cromer had been calling his wife from jail in violation of his bail conditions.

“It’s a domestic violence situation where he didn’t let the cops in the house to come help her,” Sperrazza said.

Whittaker denied the motion to amend bail, and state troopers immediately moved in to arrest the couple inside the courtroom.

The new charges allege Donald Cromer sold crystal meth to a confidential informant on several occasions in February and March, and that Christine Cromer sold the drugs to an informant on Feb. 15.

Whittaker then arraigned the pair on felony drug trafficking charges and shipped them off to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility to await trial without bail.

“Oh God,” said a woman who came with the Cromers, as she rubbed their son’s back.

Christine Cromer has been free on $50,000 bail in two cases on charges of filing false reports and unsworn falsification alleging she implicated two troopers in a sexual assault outside Mohegan Sun Pocono — attacks police say never happened.

The charges stem from allegations she made to investigators and from a restraining order application she filed against one of the troopers. In November, Christine Cromer sought a protective order against state police Sgt. Daniel Jones, alleging that in November 2016, Jones forced himself on her in a police car parked behind Mohegan Sun Pocono. At the time, Christine Cromer worked at the casino as a cocktail waitress.

Christine Cromer subsequently dropped her effort to get the protective order.

The charges note that the first time Jones ever met Christine Cromer was in May, when he interviewed her about allegations she raised that Trooper Robert Covington, a Bureau of Gaming Enforcement officer, had forced himself on her after she tried to break off a relationship with him.

Christine Cromer’s story about Covington, which she related to investigators during questioning, was nearly identical to the allegations she leveled against Jones. Citing Christine Cromer’s “multiple and inconsistent stories,” police charged her with making false reports and unsworn falsification.

Christine Cromer has been free since posting $50,000 bail in those cases.

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James Halpin
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