HARRISBURG, PA. — Dauphin County Judge Deborah E. Curcillo sentenced Dennis Divittore, 53, to five to ten years in state prison for breaking into a woman’s home while she slept on February 23, 2017, and attacking her. Divittore had entered an open plea to the charges of burglary; simple assault; unlawful restraint; and possession of instruments of a crime. An open plea allows the sentencing judge to have full discretion as to the sentence in the case. The sentenced rendered by Judge Curcillo exceeded the recommended state guidelines for the crimes. As she issued the aggravated sentence, Judge Curcillo noted that the defendant entered the woman’s home wearing a mask and that he got on top of her as she slept in her bed.
The victim attended the sentencing and expressed that she still suffers fear as a result of the events that night. Counsel for the defendant characterized the incident as an attempt by the defendant to get money. Police and prosecutors noted that the defendant walked right past the victim’s purse as he entered her bedroom. Police responded to the residence on Trinidad Avenue in Derry Township after receiving a 911 call at 3:30AM. Derry Township Police Sgt. Gregory Day explained that they found the victim beaten and clear evidence of a struggle, “she fought for her life”.
Family members in support of the defendant attended the sentencing and asked for leniency for the defendant indicating his actions were a mistake and out of character for the man. In requesting the state sentence, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle argued, “This is every person’s worst nightmare—waking up in your bed to someone in a mask on top of you. Our community needs to be protected from the defendant.” Judge Curcillo also ordered a consecutive period of state probation once the defendant is released from incarceration.