Lawyer in Maselli sexual assault case tells judge he’s ‘unable to continue’

File photo Edward Maselli, 27, last known address 23 Chester Road, Belmont, Mass.

NASHUA – The sexual assault case of Edward Maselli, the now 27-year-old Nashua man charged in 2016 with raping a woman he met through social media, took an unexpected turn this week when his attorney abruptly notified the court he cannot continue representing Maselli.

No specific reason is given in attorney Adam Bernstein’s expedited motion, in which he asked the court to hold a status-of-counsel hearing in place of Maselli’s hearing on his motion to suppress, which had been scheduled for Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

Judge Charles Temple neither granted nor denied Bernstein’s motion, issuing instead his decision to “hold in abeyance” a ruling on the motion, “until the court receives additional information from attorney Bernstein,” Temple wrote.

Maselli, whose last known address is 23 Chester Road, Belmont, Massachusetts, is facing one felony count of aggravated felonious sexual assault and two counts of resisting arrest or detention, both Class A misdemeanors.

Maselli lived at 51 Kinsley St., Apt. Two, when he was arrested the evening of Oct. 2, 2016, several hours after police received a phone call from a Massachusetts woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her in his Nashua apartment.

Meanwhile, in addition to canceling Maselli’s suppression hearing, the new development regarding Bernstein is likely to also affect the hearing scheduled for July 6 on a motion to dismiss the charges.

Bernstein, without being specific, states in his motion for a status of counsel hearing that “an issue … has arisen in the attorney/client relationship … rendering (Bernstein) unable to continue his representation” of Maselli.

He adds that “due to the nature of this motion,” the prosecutor, Assistant County Attorney Lin Li, and the supervising prosecutor, First Assistant County Attorney Kent Smith, “were not contacted for their position” on the matter, according to the motion.

Maselli, meanwhile, was initially charged with two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, but one count has since been dropped. A grand jury indicted him on the remaining count in its January 2017 session.

Police at the time of the alleged assault said the woman told investigators she’d exchanged text messages on social media earlier on Oct. 2 with a man named “Edward,” and agreed to go to his apartment that afternoon.

When she arrived, according to the allegations, Maselli “immediately began to kiss her,” then allegedly led her to his bedroom, pushed her onto the bed, “removed her pants and underwear” and performed sex acts on her.

She left a short time later and went to the Lowell hospital, where Nashua detectives met her for an interview.

They returned to Nashua to speak with Maselli, but he allegedly wouldn’t let them into his apartment. Officers, provided a key by the landlord, entered and located Maselli, but he allegedly walked away and resisted their attempts to arrest him, according to the reports.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, or @Telegraph_DeanS.