BURRILLVILLE -- A teacher has been charged with assault after a fifth-grade boy complained that she poked him in the chest with a pointer.
Naomi Roberts, 65, of 151 Duck Cove Rd., North Kingstown, was charged with one count of simple assault. Her lawyer said today she would plead not guilty.
The incident took place Jan. 9, according to police. The 10-year-old boy said Roberts poked him in the chest three times with the pointer because he was being loud in class, at Steere Farm Elementary School, according to Lt. Kevin San Antonio. The boy's father filed a complaint with police Jan. 15, San Antonio said.
Burrillville Superintendent of Schools Steven Welford said that Roberts is on administrative paid leave pending the outcome of a school district investigation.
Joel Chase, a lawyer representing Roberts, complained yesterday that although he had requested information about the case, officials had supplied information to the news media before releasing it to him.
"It's unbelievable that the entire media have all the details of these allegations and we don't," he said. "The only thing we were told by the police when we brought her in and they arrested and processed her was that a student made the allegation that she assaulted him. I requested all the paperwork formally through a discovery motion. I have been told a couple of times that it's on its way. But the media apparently has a press release and affidavits before the defendant and her attorney have it. What's wrong with that picture?"
When asked whether Roberts would plead not guilty at her arraignment, scheduled in Providence District Court on Tuesday, Chase replied, "Of course."