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Three Sullivan County Men Indicted on Assault Charges

Newport — Two Sullivan County men have been indicted on charges of sexually assaulting minor girls, while a third man has been indicted on a charge of assaulting a two-year-old boy, according to court documents released this week.

■ Ralph E. Clayton, 39, of Newport, was indicted on five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault by the Sullivan County Superior Court grand jury. Clayton allegedly sexually assaulted a victim who was younger than 13 years old.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but a tool for prosecutors to proceed with criminal cases.

The alleged acts occurred between January 2011 and March 2013, court documents said.

The maximum penalty for one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault is 20 years in prison.

■ Michael Reed, 20, of Unity, was also indicted on one count of felonious sexual assault and one count of witness tampering.

Reed allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a victim who was 15 years old at the time. The act took place in Sunapee in July.

On Aug. 5, Reed found out an investigation was pending and that he might face a charge of felonious sexual assault. He allegedly tried to persuade the victim to falsely testify to police that the event didn’t happen and to “say it was a made up story,” according to court documents.

If Reed is found guilty of both charges, he could face a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

■ Also indicted was Frederick R. Barth, Jr., 24, of Acworth, N.H., who was charged with one count of first degree assault, which comes with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

On July 5, 2012 in Charlestown, Barth allegedly caused serious bodily injury to a boy who is currently 2 years old.

The boy suffered a subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhaging, rib fracture and bruising to various parts of his body because Barth allegedly “forcibly and violently” manhandled him, according to court documents.

The indictments were handed up by the grand jury on Aug. 21 and arraignments are scheduled at the Sullivan Superior Court on Sept. 9.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.