|Wakefield pastor arrested by NKPD on charges of sexual
|SOUTH KINGSTOWN -The pastor of the Church of
the Nazarene in Wakefield who also served as a teaching assistant in
the South Kingstown School District's Farm School for
learning-disabled students was arrested Friday by North Kingstown
police and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault
for alleged incidents involving a 17-year-old female student who has
autism and cerebral palsy. |
South Kingstown police have also charged the man,
53-year-old Bruce C. DiMaria, of 37 Whitford Street, Wakefield, with
two additional counts of second-degree sexual assault stemming from
two alleged incidents that occurred with the girl at his Wakefield
Second-degree sexual assault is a felony that can carry
up to two years imprisonment and a $500 fine.
DiMaria is pastor
of the Church of the Nazarene located at 233 High Street in
His Whitford street address is the parsonage of the
No one answered at the church Monday and an answering
machine indicated the phone number was that of the DiMaria
DiMaria did not return a phone message for
The Church of the Nazarene is headquartered in Kansas
City, Missouri. An American Protestant denomination founded in 1908,
the church follows many of the doctrines of early Methodism. An
unidentified spokesperson at church headquarters referred all media
inquiries to the General Secretary who was unavailable for
DiMaria was arraigned on the North Kingstown Police
charges Saturday and released on $1,000 cash bail but has yet to be
arraigned on the charges filed by South Kingstown police.
Farm School serves South Kingstown students with disabilities and is
located in North Kingstown. School Superintendent Robert Hicks
placed DiMaria on paid administrative leave Thursday after learning
of the accusations. Hicks also notified Farm School employees and
parents of students.
"These kinds of charges are very
upsetting," Hicks said Tuesday morning. "They throw our school
programs into a great deal of turmoil and we are working to make the
school day for students at the Farm School as normal and as smooth
North Kingstown Police Chief Steven Fage was
notified by the alleged victim's family of the accusations Thursday
night and instructed them to come to the police station Friday
morning for a formal interview, said North Kingstown Police Captain
The family also notified the school department
Thursday, and Brennan said North Kingstown contacted the school
department Friday morning but learned DiMaria had already been
placed on administrative leave.
"We were concerned that he not be
working around children during the investigation and because of the
charges," Brennan said. "But that had been addressed."
alleged victim gave a statement to both North and South Kingstown
police Friday morning in North Kingstown at the Child Advocacy
Center. An assistant attorney general was also present at the
South Kingstown Juvenile Detective Patrick Strickland
was present as well, and learned that at least two alleged incidents
occurred at the Wakefield address.
The alleged incidents date
back to "the beginning of the year," said South Kingstown Sergeant
DiMaria was arrested at approximately 6:24 p.m. at
his Wakefield residence Friday evening.
"They [North Kingstown]
had gotten information that a couple of these alleged incidents
occurred down here at the residence so we got on board," said Owens.
Owens said the South Kingstown charges have been presented to
the attorney general and that DiMaria has a court appearance
scheduled for November 27.
He has no known prior record, Owens
"At this point, we have presented the two counts in South
Kingstown and are awaiting the AG's determination," Owens said.
Brennan said after the interview, it was decided there was
"probable cause" to file formal charges against DiMaria in North
Kingstown and the alleged victim's testimony was a crucial factor in
"She was interviewed by a professional in the
presence of both North Kingstown and South Kingstown Police and the
assistant attorney general," he said. "It is testimonial evidence.
Her testimony is a lot of the case."
Hicks said they are working
hard to secure a replacement teaching assistant "as quickly as
possible" and would be monitoring the case as it moves through the
"We will be seeing where it goes from now and we
will be assessing it as the process goes forward," he
Standard Times 2002 |