EAST BOSTON (WHDH) — An East Boston elementary school teacher who prosecutors say was drunk Wednesday afternoon when he inappropriately touched four 10-year-old girls during an outdoor gym class has been held on $2,500 bail.
Nicholas Speller, 31, of Malden, pleaded not guilty Thursday in East Boston District Court to four counts of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.
Should he post bail, a judge ordered that he wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and abide by a curfew.
Speller was arrested Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. at Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School on Saratoga Street after the victims reported the alleged incident to administrators.
“Victim one stated that Mr. Speller had touched her in the area of her breast, said sorry and then put his arm around her while leaning all of his body weight on her,” prosecutor Brian Leblanc said. “She then told the principal that Mr. Speller whispered in her ear ‘come with me I want to show you something.’ That student refused to go.”
Family members of the victims said they no longer feel safe at the school, Leblanc told the court.
“Victim number two told the principal that Mr. Speller rubbed her neck and chest area. She stated that Mr. Speller tried to get her to lie down,” LeBlanc said.
An automated phone call was issued to parents after Speller’s arrest, a Boston Public Schools official said. In the call, officials said they had spoken with the parents of the students who were directly impacted and are providing counseling to any children who are in need of support.
Speller has been placed on administrative leave.
A member of Speller’s church said the allegations against him are “false” and described him as a “fine young man.”
“Believe me, he does not drink,” said Rev. Henry Moutrie, of the Mission Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. “A terrible injustice on this young man.”
Speller is married and has two young children. He often preaches at Moutrie’s church.
Many parents are angered by the allegations, even though they say Speller was a popular teacher.
“I like the school it’s been good to us,” Zalinda King said. “It’s really hard hearing something like this so close to home.”
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Boston Police Crimes Against Children Unit at (617) 343-6183.
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