EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 17, 2012

Woman, 20, charged with sexually assaulting boy, 12

By Mike LaBella mlabella@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — HAVERHILL — A 20-year-old Haverhill woman is charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy while paying the boy’s mother to let her stay at the family’s apartment.

Yesterday in Haverhill District Court, Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo asked that Heather Paltinavich be held on $100,000 cash bail.

Michael Paltinavich of Haverhill, who was in the courtroom, pleaded with the judge to release his daughter to him, saying he is disabled, is raising three young children on a limited income and cannot afford a high bail amount. Judge Stephen Abany said although the charges against Paltinavich are serious, she has no court record other than one minor incident in the past. Abany ordered her held on $3,000 cash bail.

The father, who was allowed to speak again, said he could not afford that amount either. Abany told the man that he understood it would be a burden and it may be impossible for him to raise the money but that “it is what it is.”

Should Heather Paltinavich post bail, she must remain confined to her father’s home, be placed on a bracelet monitor and not have contact by any means with the victim or his family. She must also remain drug and alcohol free. A pretrial hearing is Nov. 6.

Paltinavich, 20, of 33 Bradford Ave., unit 1, was arrested Monday on a warrant charging her with two counts of statutory rape of a child. According to a police report, Paltinavich sexually assaulted the boy twice this summer in his family’s apartment in Haverhill, and that it was only recently reported to police by the boy’s mother.

DePaulo said Paltinavich was living with the boy’s family for six months and was paying to sleep on a couch in the apartment. He said Paltinavich sexually assaulted the boy while she was living with his family. DePaulo said that about a month ago the boy’s mother took her son to the doctor after he was urinating blood. DePaulo said tests showed the boy had a sexually transmitted disease. When the boy’s mother asked her son how he might have gotten the disease, he denied being involved in any sexual relationship. DePaulo said the boy’s mother was so shocked by the test results that she mentioned it to Paltinavich and the next day Paltinavich abruptly moved out of the apartment, raising the suspicions of the boy’s mother.

While DePaulo was reading a police report about the incident, Paltinavich shook her head from side to side, appearing to disagree with what he was saying.

DePaulo said the boy’s mother contacted police Oct. 9 after finding “inappropriate” Facebook messages between her son and another youth. The mother asked her son about the messages and he broke down in tears, telling her he had sex with Paltinavich after he returned from visiting his father, according to a police report. The boy said they had sex while his mother was sleeping in her bedroom and his brother was sleeping in his room, the report said.

“The victim said that he and the defendant had sex on the couch, she was drunk and that it happened a second time,” DaPaulo said.

Police spoke to the boy, who said Paltinavich was his friend and that he didn’t want her to get in trouble.

Attorney Gregory Joy, who was appointed to represent Paltinavich for yesterday’s bail hearing, said the boy’s mother was angry that Paltinavich had moved out because it caused the mother to lose a source of income as well as someone to watch her children.

“This is absolute retribution,” Joy said, adding that Paltinavich has no sexual diseases as the boy’s mother says.

“The boy probably said what the mother told him to say,” Joy said.

Following yesterday’s hearing, Paltinavich’s father said he would try to raise the money needed to have his daughter released to him. He said that if given permission, he would provide the court with the results of a health examination his daughter underwent last week that proves his daughter does not have a sexual disease.

“It’s not in her nature to do anything like this,” he said about the charges against his daughter. “Because of this, she’s going to lose her job and be labeled for life.”

He said his daughter has a job at a local fast food restaurant and that because of his disability she has been helping him pay his bills.