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Local teacher charged with assaulting students

SE Mass

ROCHESTER, Mass. (WPRI) —  A teacher is facing charges after police said he had inappropriate physical contact with students.

According to a post on Rochester Police Department’s Facebook page, James Sullivan, 35, of Fairhaven is charged with one count of assault and battery and one count of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14.

Police said officers were asked to respond to Rochester Memorial School on May 3 after administrators received reports that a teacher in the school had “inappropriate contact with students.”

According to a police report, one victim states that what started as “silly behavior” turned scary. The police report said Sullivan would get too close to female students from behind and touch them inappropriately. The report also said Sullivan would sometimes pick up students and place them in trash or recycling bins.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Sullivan, who they said he turned himself in Saturday. He was released on $10,000 cash bail and arraigned Monday in Wareham District Court.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, the state requested GPS monitoring with exclusion zones, including the alleged victim and the school.

In a statement, Old Rochester Regional School District Superintendent Douglas R. White, Jr. said Sullivan was immediately placed on administrative leave following the allegations.

White said the district notified authorities immediately and also began an internal investigation.

“We continue to remain committed to our efforts to ensure a safe learning environment, including the physical and emotional well-being of our students and staff,” White said.

A pre-trial date for Sullivan was set for May 31.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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