EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 31, 2013

Man charged with attempted sex assault on a minor

Suspect's wife baby-sat for dozens of children

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie
jmackenzie@eagletribune.com

---- — SALEM, N.H. — A lengthy investigation has resulted in an arrest for attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault: pattern sexual assault, but the investigation remains active and more charges could be forthcoming.

Ronald Libby, 72, was arrested Thursday on the single felony charge, the result of an investigation that started in 2012, Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten said yesterday.

The potential victim in the case that prompted the investigation is not related to the charge now pending against Libby.

The suspect’s wife baby-sat for dozens of children in their home for decades, Patten said.

Libby’s wife told police she cared for an estimated 50 children over the past 20 to 30 years, he said.

The alleged victim told investigators Libby tried to get the child to touch him inappropriately and also tried to touch the child inappropriately “on numerous occasions,” Patten said.

“Obviously, it’s an active investigation due to the nature of the charges and the number of children who have been baby-sat over the decades,” Patten said yesterday. “Given the nature of the charges, we are concerned there are other potential victims out there. We are investigating this slowly, methodically; it’s very sensitive. We certainly do our due diligence before we bring charges.”

Salem detectives have worked closely with the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office and the Child Advocacy Center over the past several months, he said.

Several other potential minor victims have been identified, Patten said.

Libby was released Thursday on $50,000 personal recognizance, with conditions.

The charge suggests there was a pattern of conduct, specifically of repeated attempted sexual assault.

Anyone with information about the case or other potential victims is asked to contact Detective Brendan Gleason at (603) 890-2351.