Westport Special Needs Child Assault Suspect Pleads

WESTPORT, Mass. (AP) – Authorities say a teaching assistant at a Westport elementary school accused of assaulting a 6-year-old special needs student has pleaded sufficient facts to reduced
charges.

The case was continued without a finding for two years after Linda Liberty pleaded on a charge of assault and battery, reduced from assault and battery on a mentally handicapped person.

Liberty will not go to trial if she complies with court-ordered conditions, including staying away from the child and getting training in dealing with autistic children.

Her lawyer tells The Standard-Times of New Bedford her plea was less risky than a trial.

Authorities say the Macomber Primary School teacher grabbed the boy's arm and stepped on his feet January 2008. She said she put her arm up to stop him from running away.

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