SALEM — A hockey coach accused of sexually assaulting boys in his care will remain jailed until trial.
Essex County Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley ordered Christopher Prew, 31, be held without bail, in a reversal of an earlier memo that said he was inclined to release the suspect to his family in Winthrop.
“I’ve changed my mind,” said Feeley from the bench. “The environment in Winthrop is such there is no effective enforcement mechanism nor any effective means of protecting children in Winthrop because of their (family and supporters) unified, almost fanatical belief in the defendant’s innocence.”
The judge said his latest ruling was based, in part, on the alleged actions of Prew’s Mother. Prosecutors said Louise Martino, 55, used social media last week to send a threatening message to the first victim’s mother. Prew and the victim’s mother had previously dated.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall shared a copy of the message, which she described as vile, hateful, and threatening, with the judge, who declined to make it available to the public.
Last week, defense attorney Michael Doolin argued the court should place Prew under house arrest at his parent’s Winthrop home. But in light of Martino’s arrest, Doolan recommended that Prew be placed with his uncle, Peter Martino, who had appeared as the defense lawyer for his sister in Lynn District Court.
Prew was indicted last month by an Essex County Grand Jury on charges of aggravated rape and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. He was also indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury last week on charges he sexually assaulted a boy in Newton.