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Records: Candidate found not guilty of 1975 assault charge

October 12, 2018

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — A newly released police report has shed light on a decades-old assault case brought in 1975 against Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Joe Trillo by a neighbor boy who would grow up to become the speaker of the House.

Records released Friday show that Trillo, a Republican-turned-independent, was found not guilty in a 1977 trial of assaulting a 12-year-old Nicholas Mattiello.

Mattiello is now the Democratic speaker of the House.

A sergeant writes that he brought the charge at the insistence of Mattiello’s parents and against his better judgment because Mattiello provoked Trillo and was a poorly behaved child.

The report says Trillo was accused of hitting Mattiello with a caulking gun. Trillo said earlier this week that he accidentally hit Mattiello with his arm and thought he pleaded no contest.

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