Two students face charges in Sept. 9 assault

Steven Bushong

Kent Police arrested two Kent State students Thursday in connection with a September assault on James Welsh, which left the freshman exploratory major with severe facial injuries and forced him to withdraw from school.

Matthew L. Gibbs, 20, was arrested and charged with felonious assault, a third-degree felony and obstruction of justice. Jolanta P. Maruszewska, 19, was charged with obstruction of justice.

Warrants for their arrests were issued Wednesday in connection to Welsh’s Sept. 9 assault, according to a police dispatcher. Welsh suffered a shattered jaw, cheek bone and a broken nose and eye socket.

Gibbs and Maruszewska were arrested and released on Friday after their arraignments, according to court documents.

Welsh’s mother, who would not give her name, said he was at a party at a fraternity house before the assault, but said he remembers nothing immediately surrounding the incident. It is unknown which fraternity house her son was at before the assault.

Welsh’s mother said he had to undergo a 3-hour operation to reconstruct his face. His jaw was then wired shut. But, she said, the wires will be removed Wednesday, and Welsh is “doing better.”

Gibbs, an aeronautics major, said he and Maruszewska, an architecture and environmental design major and Gibbs’ fiancee of two years, have no comment about their arrests.

The case remains under investigation, and police are expecting more arrests, according to Saturday’s Record-Courier.

James Welsh will return to Kent State for spring semester in January, his mother said.

Gibbs’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m., Friday at Kent Municipal Court.

Maruszewska’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Friday at Kent Municipal Court.

Contact public affairs reporter Steven Bushong at [email protected].