Ex-Alvirne coach has hearing delayed

A pretrial conference for a former Alvirne High School coach accused of sexually assaulting three students was postponed Wednesday.

The district court hearing for Michael Palmer was postponed to Sept. 2, but the matter may be forwarded to the Superior Court level.

Palmer faces 120 misdemeanor sexual assault charges for spanking three Alvirne High School students. He also faces four counts of simple assault and two counts of criminal threatening for alleged crimes against a fourth student.

Police claim that Palmer used his position as an authority figure to spank three teens with either a belt, a paddle or his bare hand at his former Nashua apartment and at two of the teens’ Hudson homes.

At Alvirne High School, Palmer slapped a fourth teen across the face and forcibly had the youth sit on his lap, according to a court affidavit. Palmer is also accused of striking the teen on the leg with a paddle and having him strip to his underwear, the affidavit said.

Misdemeanor crimes are typically processed at the district court level, but the volume of charges might have the case transferred to Hillsborough County Superior Court.