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Monday, September 9, 2019

The Music Teacher: Pedophile Martin A. Petersime

     In 1992, 39-year-old Martin Alan Petersime, the owner of a successful music store in the northeastern Ohio town of Warren, was a prominent member of the local arts and music community. He had been president of the Warren Symphony Society and a member in good standing of the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County. Over the years he had given lessons to hundreds of children at his store, Warren Music Center. Many of his students were pre-teen boys.

     Martin Alan Petersime, a married man, prominent citizen, and pillar of the community was a serial sexual predator who had been victimizing boys who came unsuspecting to his place of business for music lessons. He committed most of his assaults in the basement of the Warren Music Center and had gotten away with it for years. Then, in April 1992 he was exposed, and his life as a serial sex offender came to an end.

     On April 28, 1992, a partially clad 15-year-old boy ran from the basement of the Warren Music Center directly to the Warren Police Department. The distraught kid brought with him a videotape that showed the boy dancing nude to Van Halen's "Running With The Devil." Martin Petersime was also in the video stripping off his clothes to the music.

     Warren police officers used what they viewed on the videotape to acquire a search warrant for Petersime's music store which led to enough evidence to support a 20-count indictment charging the music teacher with the sexual abuse of seven boys. According to the indictment, two of the victims,  an 11 and 12-year-old, had been raped.

     In December 1992, following Martin Petersime's guilty plea to the above charges, the Trumbull County judge sentenced him to 10 to 25 years for the two rapes and 2 to 15 years for the sexual crimes against the other boys. The sentences were to run one after the other. That meant if Petersime served out his full term, he would not get out of prison until 2032 when he was 78.

     In 2009, while serving his time at the Ohio North Central Correctional Institute, Petersime filed his first motion for early release. The parole board denied his request.

     Two years later, while taking advantage of a prison outreach program that involved taking an online college course at Ashland University, prison authorities discovered child pornography on Petersime's computer.

     The incarcerated pedophile, in 2014, tried again for parole and was again denied being released before serving his full term.

     In August 2019, Martin Petersime, for the third time, filed a motion for parole in anticipation of the board's meeting the following month. The district attorney of Trumbull County who had handled Petersime's case wrote a letter to the Ohio Parole Board recommending that the convicted pedophile remain behind bars.

     In the letter to the parole board, prosecutor Dennis Watkins wrote that Petersime "is wired differently and does not learn from his past mistakes." (Mistakes?) Watkins added that Petersime "has no shame." Watkins also pointed out that prison records reveal that Petersime had yet to complete the prison's comprehensive sex program.

     On a Youngstown television program, Prosecutor Watkins called Martin Petersime "a pervert's pervert."

     When the parole board makes its decision regarding Martin Petersime, it will be reported here.

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