SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 27, 2013

Restraining order violations get man six months in jail

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — Just minutes after learning that his former girlfriend had obtained an emergency restraining order against him, Brian Trombetto hopped onto Facebook.

“You’re going to get it now,” Trombetto, 21, wrote in the direct message to the Danvers High student. “Hope I see you dead in the news someday. Bye, you heartless (expletive).”

Ten minutes after sending the message, Trombetto walked into the Danvers police station to pick up the order.

Yesterday, Trombetto admitted to violating that restraining order a total of five times — not including another incident in February, for which he had already been placed on probation.

Salem District Court Judge Michael Brooks, who expressed “grave concerns” about Trombetto’s repeated flouting of the court order, sentenced him to six months behind bars, followed by probation through next year.

Brooks also barred Trombetto from using any social media, including Facebook and Twitter, while he is on probation.

Trombetto, of 83 North St., Danvers, had been hoping that his lawyer, Paul Woods Sr., could persuade the judge to impose a suspended jail term in the cases.

But the judge, while acknowledging that Trombetto needs the supervision and possible mental health treatment that he would receive on probation, said, “There also needs to be some punishment.”

Prosecutor Lars Trautman, who had sought a total of 450 days in jail — 90 days for each of the five violations Trombetto admitted to yesterday — told the judge that he does not believe Trombetto is likely to follow orders of any kind.

“This is a defendant who does not listen to court orders,” Trautman argued. “This is an individual who has been told many, many times not to contact the victim in any way, shape or form.”

His former girlfriend, who missed yesterday’s hearing because she was in school, told the judge in a letter that she is in fear of Trombetto.

“If he’s let off, he will continue bothering me,” the young woman wrote. “I don’t know what makes some people think he won’t do it again. I know him better than anybody and I’m scared of him.”

Trautman described some of the incidents yesterday, including the Facebook message sent on Jan. 5.

On that day, Trombetto’s former girlfriend, who is still in high school, walked into the police station to obtain an emergency order. After a judge on call issued a temporary order, Danvers Patrolman Eric Clarizia attempted to contact Trombetto to notify him of the order.

Trombetto hung up on the officer, according to Clarizia’s report.

Moments later, Trombetto called his former girlfriend’s cellphone. She handed it to the officer, and Trombetto hung up again.

Eventually, he did contact the police after they left him a voice mail. He agreed to go to the station to pick up the order, but first sent the Facebook message to the girl.

According to court papers, over the next several days, Trombetto showed up at least twice at the McDonald’s on High Street in Danvers, where the girl and her friends liked to hang out.

On one of those encounters, he had a friend park about 30 yards away in the lot and then stared at her.

A couple of weeks later, on Jan. 16, he was back at the McDonald’s, where he had the driver of the car he was in pull alongside the car she was in and then yelled at her male friend, “You’re next,” the prosecutor said.

And he continued to send messages about her to friends on Facebook, the prosecutor said.

Such indirect contact is also banned under a typical restraining order.

Brooks also ordered Trombetto to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet that will track his whereabouts when he is on probation, through next August.

Woods, Trombetto’s lawyer, said his client has been diagnosed with an impulse control disorder and had stopped attending counseling prior to the incidents taking place. He now plans to resume that counseling when he’s released from jail, Woods said.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.