EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 10, 2014

Plaistow man's child abuse trial begins

BRENTWOOD — Opening arguments are to begin this morning in the trial of a Plaistow man charged with beating and burning his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son.

Roland Dow, 28, will be tried in Rockingham Superior Court on numerous charges, including multiple counts of first- and second-degree assault. He had been held at the county jail on $500,000 cash bail while awaiting trial.

The trial opened with jury selection yesterday.

Opening arguments are to start at 9 a.m. today, with the trial expected to last at least seven days, Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said.

Dow is charged with severely beating the boy, now 5, in November 2012, before he and the child’s mother, Jessica Linscott, dropped the boy off at Exeter Hospital and fled to Florida.

They were arrested at Universal Studios in Orlando following a two-week manhunt.

Linscott pleaded guilty in July as part of a plea agreement to charges she did not prevent Dow from abusing the child. She is serving two and a half to seven years in prison, and is expected to testify against Dow.

Prosecutors have claimed Dow beat the child so severely the youngster suffered seizures and temporarily lost his vision.

Dow also burned the child’s wrist and fingers, tied him up, and forced him to sleep in the bathtub when he began wetting himself at night, according to Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway.

Dow is charged with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He also faces single counts each of wiretapping, criminal threatening, assaulting a prisoner and tampering with a fire alarm.

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