ROCHESTER, N.H. — The former Milton Elementary School interim principal charged with simple assault for “dope slapping” a student last spring was ordered at his trial Tuesday in Rochester Circuit Court to write a letter of apology to his victim and complete 50 hours of community service.
Charles Mills, 53, of Henniker, entered into a Diversion Agreement at the trial, joining the Strafford County Diversion Program.
Assistant County Attorney Kathryn Smykowski said Mills’ clean background and the fact that he was “an upstanding member of the community until this incident” contributed to the agreement terms.
Mills “dope slapped” a student in the MES cafeteria in May when he was serving as interim principal of the school. Officials described the term as smacking a person on the back of the head in an upward motion.
According to the affidavit, multiple witnesses reported seeing Mills strike the child. Mills admitted to police at the time that he had slapped the student, but “had no intent to hurt him.”
As part of the agreement, Mills is now required to write an apology letter to the young victim and his family within 30 days, complete 50 hours of community service within six months and maintain good behavior for the next 12 months.
At the trial, Smykowski read a statement from the family of the victim stating, “School is a place where children are supposed to feel safe.” The statement said the family has suffered from Mills’ actions but are putting the incident behind them.
“They just want to move on,” Smykowski said of the family. She said the family is happy with the terms.
The case will remain pending for 12 months. If Mills completes all of the terms of the agreement, the charges will be nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.
A status conference will be scheduled in 12 months to assess the completion of the agreement. Mills will be required at that time to provide evidence of completion of all terms set forth in the agreement.
Distributed by MCT Information Services