In the afternoon of Wednesday, November 30, Lyons Ambulance responded to an illness call from a distraught mother at a residence on Rice Street in the Village of Lyons. The call was for her baby having with trouble breathing.
Alert ambulance staff observed the child to possibly have a more serious condition. These observations and initial treatment at Newark-Wayne Hospital resulted in the child being transferred to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
On Thursday, December 1st, medical staff at Strong forwarded a report to Wayne County Child Protective Services. Subsequently the Village of Lyons Police Department learned that the patient had suffered severe internal injuries as the result of a sexual assault. Surgeons, while performing surgery and were able to recover significant evidence which was turned over to police.
Lyons police immediately began an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the November 30th ambulance call. Search warrants were obtained for the Rice Street residence, resulting in additional physical evidence, all of which was submitted either to the Monroe County Public Safety Lab or the New York State Police Lab for testing.
Lyons Police interviewed several persons associated with the victim and potential witnesses to the circumstances leading up to the assault. Lyons Police were assisted in these interviews by Wayne County Sheriff’s Investigators and Newark Police.
Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy presented the findings of this investigation to the Wayne County Grand Jury on Friday (12/16. The Grand Jury investigation resulted in an indictment charging several counts against a Richard J. Dallas, age 24 of #8 Rice Street, Village of Lyons. The first count of the indictment charges Dallas with Predatory Sexual Assault against a Child, a Class A-II violent felony. It is alleged in that indictment that Dallas “engaged in anal sexual conduct with a nine month old female child.” Seven additional counts, ranging from Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the second degree to Endangering the Welfare of a Child were also charged.
Initially, Dallas tried to pin the crime on another individual, but eventually gave an explanation to police that he just inserted his finger in the girl’s anal cavity to “help her poop”. According to sources, evidence was gathered that more than a finger was inserted into the baby.
Based on the indictment, a Superior Court warrant was issued by Wayne County Court Judge Daniel Barrett. Dallas was arrested by Lyons Police at about 11:45 a.m. on Friday at Wayne County Hall of Justice, Broad Street in Lyons, immediately after the warrant was issued. Dallas was later arraigned by Wayne County Judge Dennis Kehoe. The Wayne County Public Defender’s Office asked to be excused from the case due to a conflict of interest. Judge Kehoe then appointed Attorney Stephanie Barnes to represent Dallas. Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy stated at the arraignment that with the seriousness of the charges and the fact that Dallas was unemployed, he should be committed on No Bail. Judge Kehoe agreed and Dallas was committed to the Wayne County Jail pending his next preliminary hearing on January 11th at 11 a.m. Healy added that the prosecution was ready to proceed.
According to sources, Dallas and the baby’s mother are not married. He reportedly has two children with another partner.
Lyons Police Chief Richard Bogan said “This case was a priority for us from the minute we were first notified. Our officers meticulously built a very solid case, based on physical evidence and witness interviews. Our District Attorney, Richard Healy, was very instrumental in coordinating the efforts of other agencies and streamlining our access to resources necessary to make an arrest in a timely manner. This case was difficult from the beginning, in that we were dealing with a victim that could not speak for herself. It was also an emotional case for the officers involved because of the depravity of the allegations. I would like to personally thank all of the officers, prosecutors, service workers and medical staff who worked and advocated on behalf of this helpless infant.”
The baby girl remains in the hospital undergoing treatments battling infections. “She will need future surgeries to repair her colon”, said Healy. The child, at age 9 months, now requires a colostomy bag and doctors are unsure whether this would be permanent, or not. It is hoped she will be released from the hospital within the next ten days. “This is outrageous how badly this child was injured. Without the surgery, she would have died,” added the District Attorney.