Former Bristol residents Richard and Jesse Perry, both accused of first- and second-degree child molestation, waived their rights to bail hearings in separate court appearances recently.
On the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 22, Richard Perry, who is 55 and now lives in Warren, appeared before Magistrate John F. McBurney III in Providence Superior Court where one count of second-degree child molestation was added to the two counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of second-degree child molestation for which he was indicted by a grand jury. It is alleged that Richard Perry sexually molested a 9-year-old boy in Bristol in 1998.
Entering the new charge, Special Assistant Attorney General John H. Dean told the court that the “state had new information that came forward.”
Mr. Perry denied the charges and his attorney, Paul DiMaio, told the court that his client wished to have a bail hearing. By 2 p.m., however, Mr. Perry changed his mind and waived his right to the hearing.
As Mr. DiMaio later explained, determining an accused person’s eligibility of bail is a two-part process. The first part is to determine whether or not the prosecution has sufficient evidence for a case to go to trial. The second part is for the judge to determine if the person’s character and other criteria make him or her a viable candidate for bail.
Mr. DiMaio stated that “the state has enough evidence” to warrant a trial, however by waiving his right to a bail hearing, Mr. Perry “knows it’s not an admission of guilt.”
Magistrate McBurney remanded Mr. Perry to the ACI where he has been incarcerated since his arrest on Dec. 13. A pre-trial conference was scheduled for March 21 and any motions will be heard on March 29.
When asked if he thinks Richard Perry’s case will go to trial, Mr. DiMaio said there are options to consider.
“So far, it looks defensible to me,” Mr. DiMaio said.
If convicted, Mr. Perry would face a sentence of 25 years to life for each guilty verdict on the first degree charges.
“There are a lot of issues there,” Mr. DiMaio said, when asked about trying the case versus taking a plea bargain for a lesser sentence.
“That would be an area of consideration,” he said.
Jesse Perry remains in jail
Accused child molester Jesse Perry, Richard Perry’s older brother, also waived his right to a bail hearing. On Friday morning, Jan. 18, Mr. Perry, who is 59 and lives in Fall River, Mass., relinquished his right to a bail hearing and will remain at the ACI for the next 90 days, while a grand jury reviews evidence in the case brought against him. Law enforcement charged Jesse Perry with one count each first- and second-degree child molestation. It is alleged that in 1990 Jesse sexually assaulted a 9-year-old boy in Bristol.
Defense attorney Priscilla Facha DiMaio and Special Assistant Attorney General John H. Dean conferred with the Judge Elaine Bucci in Sixth Division District Court before Jesse Perry was led by his handcuffs, into the courtroom.
Judge Bucci spoke directly to Mr. Perry.
“You understand that you are waiving your right to a bail hearing,” she said.
“I believe I do, yes,” Mr. Perry said, hesitating before giving his answer.
Judge Bucci would not accept his ambiguous reply, and asked, again, if he understood his actions to waive his right.
“Yes,” he said.
Although Jesse Perry will remain at the ACI, Judge Bucci also issued two no contact orders. One is to protect the victim who came forward for the case. The other was issued on behalf of a second individual who was not identified and whose name was sealed at Mr. Dean’s request.
Mr. Perry is charged with one count of first degree child molestation and one count of second degree child molestation. Those charges allege only one victim.
“I’m going to advise you, you are not to have any contact with the victim on this matter. Any communication will violate this no contact order and you will be held in contempt,” Judge Bucci said.
A court date to review the case was scheduled for March 14. Jesse Perry has been held at the ACI since his arrest on Jan. 10.