Bradford L. Dalton appeared in circuit court for the first time Tuesday since his arrest and indictment on felony assault charges last month.

The Astoria High School teacher and girls basketball coach allegedly harmed his 10-year-old daughter by applying pressure to her throat and neck in late July, the court has heard. The alleged incident was witnessed by Dalton’s second daughter, authorities say.

Dalton, 49, was arraigned in Clatsop County Circuit Court on one count of felony assault in the fourth-degree and one count of strangulation.

His wife took pictures of their daughter’s neck and showed them to the Department of Human Services and Astoria Police, who arrested Dalton Aug. 25. He was released on bail the next day.

As part of his release agreement, Dalton was given a no-contact order for his children and has been staying in motels in Warrenton and Seaside.

The Astoria School District released a statement Aug. 27 indicating that Dalton was on paid administrative leave. He is now on unpaid leave, according to the district.

Dalton’s attorney, David McDonald, entered a not guilty plea for the charges Tuesday. He appealed to Circuit Judge Philip Nelson regarding the $2,000 in security being held for Dalton’s release.

“There’s no reason for the bail to stay in place,” McDonald said. “I would ask that the court exonerate that bail.”

Dalton has no prior criminal history.

“These are serious crimes of violence against his own children,” said Steven Chamberlin, deputy district attorney. “It’s reasonable and necessary.”

McDonald inquired about addressing the issue of no contact in Dalton’s release agreement and whether his client would be able to eventually move back home. Nelson set a release hearing date of Oct. 10 to review the restrictions.

Dalton faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted and a $125,000 fine for the Class C felonies. An early resolution conference was set for Nov. 6.


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