Sex Crimes

Charge of not registering as sex offender tossed against son of Iwo Jima flag-raising sculptor

Prosecutors in Rhode Island have dropped a charge against the son of the sculptor who designed the iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising sculpture.

Byron de Weldon is a third-level sex offender with a history of child molestation charges. He was jailed in October because authorities believed he had failed to register as a sex offender as required.

But prosecutors said in Providence federal court Thursday that they received incorrect information from de Weldon's mother that he had gone on a lengthy trip through several states without notifying authorities. They say the trip was only about 15 days, and he was not required to update his registration.

The 45-year-old de Weldon is the son of the late Felix de Weldon, who sculpted the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.