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Mother of hockey coach accused of child rape arrested for witness intimidation

Christopher Prew enters Court Room 2 in Lynn District Court for a dangerousness hearing on Wednesday.
Christopher Prew in Lynn District Court in February. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — The mother of the hockey coach from Marblehead who is accused of sexually assaulting 10 young boys was arrested for sending a threatening message to the mother of one of her son’s alleged victims.

Louise Martino, 55, of Winthrop, was arrested on a warrant on Saturday after turning herself into Marblehead Police.

Martino was arraigned on a witness intimidation charge in Lynn District Court on Monday. She pleaded not guilty and was released on certain conditions, as prosecutors did not request cash bail.

She was ordered by Judge Richard Mori to not have any direct or indirect contact with any of her son’s alleged victims or their families, remain free of alcohol abuse and refrain from posting anything derogatory about the victims or their families on social media.

Martino is the mother of Christopher Prew, 31, of Marblehead, who is accused of sexually assaulting 10 boys and is formally charged with molesting four of them. The other six cases are under investigation, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

Martino is accused of sending a threatening message to the mother of the first victim, who had dated Prew. The message was sent by social media on Thursday night and an arrest warrant was issued for Martino on Friday, prosecutors said.

Prew is charged with indecently assaulting and orally raping the woman’s 9-year-old son.

Martino and her attorney, Peter Martino, declined comment following the arraignment.

Martino is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference on April 24.

Prew was arraigned in Salem Superior Court last week and remains held without bail. A further hearing on whether Prew will be released on conditions or continue to be held without bail will be held on Friday, prosecutors said.

Prew’s defense attorney, Michael Doolin, requested at his client’s dangerousness hearing last Thursday that Prew be released to live under house arrest at his parents’ house in Winthrop.

That night, the mother of the first victim reported receiving a threatening message from Martino. On Friday, Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall filed a motion in Essex Superior Court to reopen the dangerousness hearing for Prew to determine the fitness of Martino as a custodian for her son. Prosecutors have requested that Prew remain held without bail.

“The Commonwealth has learned that Martino has engaged in conduct towards a witness in the case, which calls into question her suitability,” wrote District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett in the filing.

According to a memorandum and decision on the Commonwealth’s motion, which was signed by Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley, Prew has submitted 29 supportive letters from family and friends attesting to his character. Doolin said in court last week that his client denies all of the charges.

Feeley wrote there is no mistaking the dangerousness of Prew, as the nature and circumstances of this case compel that conclusion, but the court takes its responsibility seriously to ensure that a defendant is not punished before convicted. He wrote that the court is also considering the “widespread trust and affection toward Prew expressed by so many friends and family from the Winthrop community.”

“In this case and in this court’s view, serial sexual assaults upon multiple prepubescent boys, which the court has found under a standard of probable cause, is necessarily a function of deviant sexual interest that Prew was unable to control the last couple of years, through the time of his recent arrest,” Feeley wrote.

“The fact that he could not control his sexual interests until he was caught, arrested and charged does not mean those interests cannot be controlled through the pendency of this and what the court expects to be additional cases brought against Prew in this court.”

Prew was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury last month on charges of aggravated rape and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, which stem from the accusations from the first child. The boy told his mother, which initiated the investigation.

Prew is also facing three more indecent assault and battery on a child charges out of Essex County, involving two additional children, both 9-year-old boys. He was also indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury last week for sexually assaulting a boy in Newton.

Prosecutors allege the assaults took place in Prew’s condominium, and in the children’s own home, often with parents in another room.

The children who have accused Prew were participating in the hockey program with him. He is not affiliated with the Marblehead Hockey Association, but provides private and group hockey sessions in the area.

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