- Associated Press - Monday, November 19, 2018

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - A judge in Rhode Island has ruled that a man who spent decades in prison for molesting children did not violate his probation by putting incorrect information on a marriage license application.

The decision on Monday means that Richard Gardner will be released from prison where he’s been held since his arrest earlier this month.

Gardner was convicted of multiple child rapes in the 1980s in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. His recent move to Providence has sparked noisy protests outside his home.

In dismissing a misdemeanor charge, Judge Bennett Gallo said Gardner did not intend to mislead when he put an old address on his application for a marriage license.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office defended its decision to seek a probation violation and said Gardner will remain closely supervised.

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