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Marino case heads for potential resolution

Sept. 4, 2020

By Ann Needle

          The case against former Stow Police Chief Ralph “Rusty” Marino for alleged child enticement is one step closer to being resolved.

          At a pretrial hearing from Leominster District Court over Zoom on Wednesday, Sept. 2, Asst. District Attorney Courtney Sans told Judge Mark Noonan she and Marino’s attorney, Greg Johnson, agreed to request a disposition of Oct. 28 “for a possible resolution of this matter.” The judge approved the date.

          Under Massachusetts law, a disposition is defined as “the outcome of a case, whether by dismissal, plea and sentence, settlement, verdict or judgment.”

          Johnson confirmed to the judge that Marino was not on the Zoom conference, “But I’m in regular contact with him.”

          Asst. D.A. Sans reported that Marino’s counsel requested she transfer to him the contents of the cellphone Marino was carrying when he was taken into custody. She said the task should be completed in the next week.

          The case began in April when Leominster Police lodged a Criminal Complaint against Marino of enticing a child under the age 16.  The charges stemmed from chat logs Leominster Police viewed showing a man, later identified as Marino, using his cell phone to allegedly try to arrange to meet for a sexual encounter with a person posing as a 14-year-old boy. Marino resigned from the Stow Police force April 22.

          At Marino’s arraignment in June, Johnson entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Among the conditions of Marino’s release on personal recognizance that Noonan imposed on Marino in June were he must not have any contact with children under 18, or with the complaining witness.

          Detective Sgt. Michael Sallese remains Acting Stow Police chief until a Board of Selectmen subcommittee completes a search for a permanent chief.