EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 3, 2012

Child abuse suspect could face more charges

Abuse suspects have little to say in court

PLAISTOW — The long-awaited arraignments yesterday of a Plaistow couple charged with child abuse answered some questions, but not many.

The case, which attracted national attention, has left many wondering how a mother could allegedly stand by and watch her live-in boyfriend burn and beat her 3-year-old son.

But that’s a question 23-year-old Jessica Linscott didn’t answer during her video appearance in 10th Circuit Court yesterday. Linscott had little to say, answering “yep” to direct questions from Judge Sharon DeVries, but little else.

When DeVries asked Linscott if she had any questions of her own, she replied, “No, I just want a lawyer.”

DeVries said an attorney would be appointed to defend Linscott.

Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, Linscott wasn’t represented by counsel during the arraignment. At one point, the Sanborn Regional High School graduate wiped tears from her eyes.

There were no tears from Ronald Dow, 27, who faces more serious assault charges for allegedly abusing 3-year-old James, who has been hospitalized at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth for nearly two and a half weeks.

Dow, accompanied by defense attorney Lawrence Vogelman, could face more charges, according to Assistant County Attorney Michael Zaino.

He is charged with burning the child’s wrist and fingers, and beating him, inflicting serious brain injuries that caused seizures. Linscott is charged with failing to protect her son from Dow.

DeVries ordered Dow held on $500,000 cash bail, an amount Vogelman said his client could not afford.

Linscott is held on $100,000 cash bail.

“I’m not going to be able to make that bail,” she told DeVries.

Should either of them make bail, they would be barred from contacting one another or James, according to conditions DeVries imposed. Also, Linscott must live with her grandmother in Seabrook while Dow must reside with his mother, Helen Nault of Newton — if they post bail.

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