EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 8, 2013

Woman is confined to home

Paltinavich: Police say she assaulted boy, 12, in his mom's apartment

By Jill Harmacinski

---- — SALEM, Mass. — A 20-year-old Haverhill woman charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy is confined to her father's home after her Superior Court arraignment yesterday on two statutory rape charges.

Heather Paltinavich, who entered pleas of not guilty, must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and can only leave home to go to work, Judge John Lu ordered. Her work schedule will be overseen and monitored by the court's probation department.

Lu also said Paltinavich cannot use drugs or alcohol, must submit to random substance abuse screenings and cannot have contact with any person under age 18 who is not a family member. She must also have no contact with the alleged victim, Lu said.

On Oct. 15, 2012, Paltinavich was arrested and charged after she allegedly had sex twice with the 12-year-old boy. She was initially held at the women's prison in Framingham, but later released when her father posted $3,000 cash bail.

Paltinavich was later indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury, triggering her arraignment in Salem Superior Court yesterday.

According to a police report, Paltinavich sexually assaulted the boy twice last summer in his family’s apartment in Haverhill. The boy's mother reported the incidents to police in the fall.

Paltinavich had been living with the boy’s family for six months and was paying to sleep on a couch in the apartment, according to court papers. She is accused to sexually assaulting the boy while she was drunk and living in the apartment.

The boy's mother reported the alleged incidents to police after her son began suffering from a sexually transmitted disease, investigators said.

When the boy’s mother asked her son how he might have gotten the disease, he denied being involved in any sexual relationship. But the mother was so shocked by the test results that she mentioned it to Paltinavich. The next day Paltinavich abruptly moved out of the apartment, raising the suspicions of the boy’s mother, according to court papers.

The boy later broke down and told his mother he had sex with Paltinavich on the couch twice, investigators said. They said the mother was sleeping in her bedroom when the incidents happened..

Paltinavich is defended by Haverhill lawyer Scott Gleason. Assistant District Attorney James Gubitose is prosecuting the case. Paltinavich is due back in court on March 11 for a pretrial conference.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.