AUGUSTA — A New York man who has been held almost three months in jail on a charge of assaulting a child was released Friday after the prosecutor’s office dismissed the indictment but said he will face a lesser charge.
Daniel Omar Cole, 38, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., was arrested there in October, and extradited to Maine on an indictment charging him with committing aggravated assault on a child in Augusta in March 2010. At the time, bail was set at $50,000, and Cole remained behind bars. His case was scheduled for jury selection in Kennebec County Superior Court on Friday.
Now he is expected to be released from jail.
District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Friday that Cole still faces a criminal charge in connection with the assault. She said he was issued a summons on a felony assault charge and has an initial appearance Feb. 11 in Kennebec County Superior Court.
“We’ll be seeking to indict him,” Maloney said. “The issue is he was charged with class B, and that requires expert testimony. The evidence supports a class C assault charge.”
Maloney said her office will seek to have the case go to trial in March.
Cole’s attorney, Joshua Klein-Golden, objected to the initial charge in various documents filed with the court, saying information he received in the case alleges Cole abused the girl many times, but does not specify what serious injury occurred March 9, 2010, in Augusta.
“For example, the child states in one report that she was hospitalized as a result of being hit by a hammer and in another report that her head was put into a toilet,” Klein-Golden wrote.
Maloney said previously that Cole injured the child with a hammer, and court documents say she was 4 when the alleged assault took place. Maloney also said the girl recovered, but is expected to have some lasting effects from the assault.
A grand jury in Kennebec County indicted Cole on the aggravated assault charge on Feb. 11, 2011, but the indictment was sealed until his arrest in October.
Maloney said the girl’s family has moved out of Maine.
Court records show Cole was convicted in Kennebec County in 2006 of violating a protection from abuse order, assault, criminal mischief and violating condition of release. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but 48 hours suspended and two years’ probation. At that time, he was living in Randolph.