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01:00 AM EST on Tuesday, March 3, 2009
By W. Zachary Malinowski
Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE — New information has cleared an elementary school principal in Pawtucket of child molestation charges that were brought against him three months ago.
Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch announced yesterday that the Pawtucket police and prosecutors from his office developed information in the weeks following Raymond Dalton’s indictment on Nov. 25 that cleared the longtime principal of Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School of five felony child-molestation charges that were alleged to have occurred as long as 14 years ago.
The new information was recently presented to a second grand jury that refused to indict Dalton. As a result, the five original charges were dismissed.
“Of the many powers a prosecutor has, the power to dismiss a charge and end an unwarranted criminal prosecution is perhaps his greatest power,” Lynch said.
Dalton’s lawyers, John E. MacDonald and Peter A. DiBiase, of Providence, praised the authorities for taking a longer look at the allegations that were made by a former Baldwin student.
“Ray would like to thank the Department of Attorney General and Pawtucket Police for their professional and thorough investigation in this matter,” they wrote. “He would like to thank his family, friends and colleagues who stood by him during this very trying time.”
MacDonald said Dalton, 53, wants to return to Baldwin, the city’s largest elementary school, with more than 600 students.
At the time of the original indictment, MacDonald and DiBiase questioned the credibility of the accuser, whom they characterized as “a violent felon and career criminal with a motivation to better his current prison situation.” He has not been publicly identified.
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