Accused child molester hires criminal defense attorney
Paul J. Dimaio, an attorney with 44 years of criminal defense on his resume´, will represent Richard Perry, a Warren resident and former Bristol school employee and youth sports coach and umpire who was charged with four counts of child molestation.
“I don’t know much about the case yet,” Mr. Dimaio said in a telephone conversation on Monday. “I just have superficial information about the accusations.”
The case against Mr. Perry was brought before a grand jury after Bristol Police and Rhode Island State Police presented evidence to support witnesses’ claims that the accused committed first and second degree child molestation. Mr. Perry was indicted and has been at the ACI since his arrest on Dec. 13.
On Dec. 27, Mr. Dimaio was entered as Mr. Perry’s hired attorney.
“We have to evaluate all the material we get from discovery and check its validity,” Mr. Dimaio said. “The only time we’ll enter a guilty plea is if my client tells me he did something wrong. Right now it’s a not guilty plea.”
Mr. Dimaio said he has experience in criminal defense, with several clients who have been accused of similar crimes. Cases for “two or three” of those clients are currently pending.
“Fifty percent are true, fifty percent are not,” he said of allegations made.
A bail hearing for Mr. Perry is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 10. Mr. Dimaio said court Magistrate John McBurney will weigh the merits of the case, consider whether or not Mr. Perry would be a flight risk, and examine other factors that determine bail eligibility. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 16.
“I think he’s a candidate for bail,” Mr. Dimaio said. “He’s not going anywhere, he has family here.”
If bail is granted, Mr. Perry would need to post a portion of it as bond, otherwise he would remain at the ACI.
“We’re taking this one step at a time,” Mr. Dimaio said.
Since Mr. Perry’s arrest on Dec. 13, several people have contacted local law enforcement claiming they were either a victim of Mr. Perry or know of people who were alleged victims of Mr. Perry, according to local police.
For decades, Mr. Perry worked alongside children at Mt. Hope High School, where he was a special education teacher’s assistant. He was later transferred to Kickemuit Middle School, where he worked as a custodian. In addition, Mr. Perry is one of three brothers who were active in local youth sports leagues as coaches and league officials. Published records also show that Mr. Perry was a camp director at the Bristol YMCA in the early 1980s and, prior to that, worked at a Salvation Army summer camp program in Virginia.
Bristol police and the Rhode Island State Police are involved in the ongoing investigation.