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Man gets up to 67 years for beating 3-year-old boy


BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) - A man accused of inflicting a "reign of terror" on his girlfriend's 3-year-old son before fleeing to a Florida amusement park was sentenced Thursday to up to 67 years in prison on assault and other charges.

Roland Dow, 28, of Plaistow, was convicted in June of assaulting James Nicholson, failing to get him medical help, coaching him to lie to a social worker and secretly recording the social worker's visit. He and the boy's mother, Jessica Linscott, were arrested at the Universal Orlando Resort in November 2012, two weeks after leaving the toddler at a hospital with a brain injury, head-to-toe bruises and burns on his arm and hand.

Linscott pleaded guilty to child endangerment and witness tampering and is serving 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison. Dow, who was convicted of 11 charges and acquitted of burning the boy, was sentenced to 25 ½ to 67 years in Rockingham County Superior Court, where Judge Marguerite Wageling called his behavior deliberate, depraved and sadistic. Saying James was "dragged into hell," the judge contrasted Dow's treatment of James with testimony that he was "the most darling of fathers" to his own young daughter.

"James was treated like a caged animal, and putting that up against the apparent wonderful behavior he knew how to provide to a child makes it even more sick," Wageling said. "He then flew out of the area and engaged in happy-go-lucky entertainment while James lay in a hospital bed having holes drilled in his skull to relieve the pressure of the injuries he sustained."

In arguing for a sentence of five to 10 years, attorney Thomas Gleason said his client is "sorry James was injured and hurt" but added that many questions remain about who caused the injuries and whether jurors considered him an accomplice to Linscott or the main perpetrator. Gleason also painted Linscott as a longtime liar who blamed her ex-boyfriend for crimes she could have committed herself.

Prosecutors countered that being an awful mother doesn't mean Linscott was lying. Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway said Dow beat the boy, tied him to a bed and subjected him to "torture sessions" in the bathroom.

"For whatever reason, God only knows, this man hated James. He hated him, and he began his reign of terror against this 3-year-old little toddler," Conway said.

Although Linscott admitted spanking her son and participating in other harsh punishments, she also testified that Dow abused her and treated her son "worse than a dog you don't want." Jurors viewed photos of James' injuries and videos showing the child whimpering in pain and crashing to the floor while Dow was heard yelling: "Get up!" and "Stop having a fit!"

"You could hear the hate and the disdain this man had for this child, it was palpable, you could almost taste it," Conway said. "James didn't just watch those videos; he lived through it."

James, now 5, lives with his grandmother and is "doing great" physically, Conway said. The boy's great-grandmother Germaine Mullen said he still has a shunt in his head, but his intelligence was not affected. She said James visits his mother in prison but remains terrified of Dow and has asked: "Why did Roland hurt me all the time?"

She said she has assured James that Dow is in prison.

"The look of relief that came over that child's face? It was almost like when someone wins the lottery," she said.

Dow, who didn't testify at his trial, didn't speak at the sentencing either. His attorney and mother declined to comment afterward.

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fullsrvlaw August 14 2014 at 5:10 PM

That "mother" should never get that child back. Nor should she be able to have any other children. She should have left that piece of human garbage the first time he hit her son. The fact that she stayed with him and did not protect her child means that her parental rights should be terminated.

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6 replies
katlady20 August 14 2014 at 4:39 PM

I never understand women who allow their child to be abused. Any man in my life who would even speak to my children inappropriately, would be out of my life in a heartbeat. Women, get some balls. Stay in school. Practice birth control so you do not have to rely on someone to take care of you. Get a job, stay with it. Be independent. This woman and this man need to both be neutered. I would reduce their sentence by five years by voluntarily agreeing to get neutered. Castrate him and spay her. I am ashamed of women who allow this. She deserves to be in prison longer.

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8 replies
mikemlockier August 14 2014 at 5:12 PM

2 1/2 years for the woman. Are you kidding?

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2 replies
sadiemae1214 mikemlockier August 14 2014 at 8:16 PM

"Linscott pleaded guilty to child endangerment and witness tampering and is serving 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison". Prison overcrowding will get her out in 5 years if her cellmates with children allow her to live that long.

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1 reply
theomegaman72 sadiemae1214 August 14 2014 at 8:33 PM

umm...you really think her cellmates are going to kill her ....or is that something people just say because they are angry at what she did ?

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Margaret Won mikemlockier August 15 2014 at 8:54 AM

Horribly frightening that she gets such short jail time and probably will have her child returned to her when she gets out. I see nothing good can happen here.

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cherylhaass August 14 2014 at 4:55 PM

Once again, "Mommy's Boyfriend" turns out to be a sadistic monster. How many babies and children must suffer like this? How stupid can a mother be, to bring a creep like this into the home with her child, and LET HIM HURT HER BABY? They should BOTH be sterilized, so they won't do this to any more children. His little daughter is at high risk; no doubt in my mind!

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gwells2001 August 14 2014 at 5:37 PM

As a feminist and advocate for women this woman needs to made accountable and I am hoping that they did not make a deal so that they could get a hefty sentencing for him while knowing she was just as guilty. Women cannot hide behind men in any circumstance. It was her sole responsibility to keep her son safe. The End.

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5 replies
tfarris2 August 14 2014 at 6:24 PM

This mother did not get enough jail time! She could have gone to the police at any point. As for the boyfriend, well, he will be making all kinds of new friends in prison.

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2 replies
mrc1006 tfarris2 August 14 2014 at 10:14 PM

Every time I hear about a woman's boyfriend abusing her child I get almost sick to the stomach. No man is worth putting up with who does not have respect for a woman and her child.

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goldie841 tfarris2 August 14 2014 at 10:57 PM

Just wait til the other female inmates find out what she is in prison for--they sorta frown on child abusers-she will have to fight her way thru the whole time. I hope some murderer beats the S@#t out of her

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dj446688 August 14 2014 at 5:14 PM

Can't wait for him to become Bubba's love slave and as Bubba always says...."Rules and bones are made to be broken."

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thedreamerkey August 14 2014 at 4:20 PM

They should both be put in a single cell with no communication with any one for the rest of there lives. Live their lives alone. That child could have died !!

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buddwhyzr August 14 2014 at 6:14 PM

It's a whole opposite world you're going to be moving to. Guess who the helpless "boy" will be now?

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1 reply
ram4131 buddwhyzr August 14 2014 at 6:51 PM

I hope your cellmate is "Jumbo" the human tripod. And he keeps you busy.

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Mike August 14 2014 at 5:14 PM

Of course Dow abused Linscott! What else would you do to a low life mother who allows her son to be harmed?

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2 replies
Margaret Won Mike August 15 2014 at 8:57 AM

No excuses for the mother failing to protect her son....none at all.

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gsbluesky Mike August 15 2014 at 9:21 AM

If this was the case, she should of ran for her life and taken her children with her.

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