Man Charged with Intimidating Witnesses
By Bryan P. Sears
The Jeffersonian [Maryland]
February 23, 2006
A former Lutherville-area community association president and church volunteer stands charged with attempting to intimidate witnesses who were to testify against him in a child sex-abuse case earlier this year.
Michael Martin, a former president of the Pine Valley-Valleywood Association, faces four charges related to attempting to intimidate an employee of the Baltimore County Police Department. That employee was scheduled to testify against Martin last month in a child sexual-abuse case.
Martin pleaded guilty on Jan. 18 to fondling a pre-teen girl. He faces one year in jail on the sex- offense conviction and could be ordered to register as a child sex offender. Sentencing, scheduled for March, could be delayed as a result of the new charges.
Police charged Martin on Feb. 1 with intending to retaliate against a witness, attempting to inhibit testimony, obstruction of justice and attempting to intimidate or influence a witness. Martin is accused of committing these crimes after he had already pleaded guilty to the sex offense, according to court records.
According to charging documents, Martin used e-mail and telephone calls to send intimidating messages to Christopher Kollmann, an analyst with the department's computer forensic unit, and Kollmann's sister, Dana. The e-mails referenced Dana Kollmann.
Martin's wife, Martha, taught part time at Towson University where Dana Kollmann works, according to charging documents. In the e- mails, the writer demands Kollmann admit "to tampering with evidence and Dana makes it through the semester."
Investigators were eventually able to trace the e-mails to another e-mail address and a Web site registered to Martin, according to court records.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to 20 years in jail and or $25,000 in fines. Martin is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Martin, 44, lives with his wife and two children in the Lutherville home that he grew up in.
He and his wife volunteered at Timonium Presbyterian Church until January, when the church became aware of the sex-offense charges against him, according to court records.
Residents of the neighborhood where Martin lives described Martin as sometimes "shy and socially awkward" but at the same time "passionate about his community" and "a stickler for the rules."
"He would have been the one trying to get (a sex offender) out of the neighborhood," one resident said.
E-mail Bryan P. Sears at Bryan P. Sears@patuxent.com
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