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December 11. 2012 9:39PM

Charges in Plaistow abuse case could bring long prison term

Rowland Dow, 27, and Jessica Linscott, 23, of Plaistow were indicted by a grand jury in Rockingham County Superior Court. Dow could face years in prison for allegedly abusing Linscott's 3-year-old son, James Nicholson. COURTESY 

BRENTWOOD - A Plaistow man accused of beating and burning his girlfriend's 3-year-old son could face upward of 30 to 90 years in prison if he is convicted on all three assault-related charges returned by a grand jury.

County Attorney James Reams announced on Tuesday that his office filed eight charges against Roland Dow, 27, of Plaistow for striking 3-year-old James Nicholson so severely the little boy suffered a traumatic brain injury that caused protracted impairment to the little boy's vision.

Nicholson also suffered burns to his wrist and fingers, according to indictments released by Reams on Tuesday.

The boy's mother, Jessica Linscott, could face up to six years in state prison for allegedly failing to take action as her son suffered seizures and other symptoms after what prosecutors believe was a pattern of abuse that happened between Nov. 1 and 14, according to indictments. She was charged with six misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, an offense punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

The indictments released Tuesday come roughly a month after Dow and Linscott went on the run after leaving James Nicholson at Exeter Hospital on Nov. 14 with a variety of injuries that doctors concluded were the result of abuse. Doctors called police to report the injuries.

A grand jury that convened last week at superior court returned the indictments and misdemeanor charges.

James Nicholson has since been released from Children's Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon. He remains in the custody of the state Division of Children, Youth and Families.

Dow and Linscott pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow on Dec. 3. The couple remained on the run for two weeks before being apprehended at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. by U.S. Marshals.

Dow is being held on $500,000 bail at the county jail. Jessica Linscott was ordered held on $100,000 bail.

The two are expected to be arraigned in Rockingham County Superior Court later this month.

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James A. Kimble may be reached at JKimble@newstote.com.

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