BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A professor at Bridgewater State University has been suspended after he was charged with raping a female student inside his college office.
36-year-old Nicholas R. Pirelli of Plymouth was arrested on Wednesday March 4th by campus police in connection with an alleged rape that happened on October 20, 2019.
In Brockton District Court on Thursday, Pirelli pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14. Bail was set at $2,500 and has since been posted.
The University's President, Frederick W. Clark Jr., sent out a statement to the campus saying he was "deeply disturbed" by the allegations.
On Tuesday night, a female student told Bridgewater State Universality Police that she had met the professor through the website seeking.com last Fall.
The site aims to connect so-called "sugar daddies," or wealthier men, with so-called "sugar babies," or younger women. The police report states that Pirelli offered to "spoil" the student.
Pirelli then requested "risky" pictures of the woman, and according to the police report the woman sent him explicit photos and videos. When he learned she was a student at his place of employment, Pirelli allegedly told her they would need to be "discreet."
The week before the alleged rape, Pirelli sent the woman $5 through an app as a 'test,' according to court documents. He then sent her money through the app to cover a cab fare, and the two met in person. Three days later, he sent her $50 to go shopping. Later that evening, the professor contacted the student and offered to help with an essay she was writing. Court documents state that Pirelli said he was in his office on campus.
The woman told police that Pirelli let her in his office and then locked the door. After working on the essay for about 30 minutes, the woman reports Pirelli "abruptly leaned over" her, kissing her, as she tried to push him away. She alleges the professor went on to forcibly perform sex acts on her. Bridgewater University Police confirm the woman reported the incident to her two roommates the night it allegedly happened, and that "detectives found the victim credible throughout their interviews with her."
Pirelli said he "may have" met the woman outside a classroom, and that she "maybe" had been a guest in his office. He told police it was possible he had texted her, but denied any physical encounters in his office. After he admitted to "maybe" meeting the woman online, he requested an attorney.
Court documents say detectives found Pirelli "to be not credible, and noted that he had apparently lied when asked questions regarding manners that were already on record or easily confirmable."
A University spokesperson said Pirelli is a temporary, full-time, non-tenured faculty member who is now on administrative leave with pay. He is also barred from campus.
Pirelli is due back in court on April 30 for a probable cause hearing.
(Photo: Getty Images)