CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A former Arlington teacher’s assistant was ordered held on $250,000 bail Friday, accused of raping a 15-year-old boy he communicated with on the social media application Grindr.
James Martin, 36, was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on charges of aggravated statutory rape and enticement of a child under 16 years old for sex.
In court, prosecutors said Martin is an openly gay man who initially met the victim when the boy was in seventh grade at Ottoson Middle School.
Arlington Public Schools officials said Martin resigned from the district in 2013 after working there for about two years.
Martin allegedly began grooming the boy when he was in school, teaching him about holding hands and other forms of minor affection.
According to authorities, Martin and the boy stayed in touch over the course of the next several years, communicating over Grindr.
Investigators said that Martin picked up the boy from his home one day in January. The two allegedly went to a church parking lot and had sex.
Martin and the boy smoked marijuana and went to McDonald’s following the alleged sexual encounter, prosecutors said.
Several weeks ago an Arlington teacher overheard the victim telling another student about the incident, and police were notified.
“This is a disturbing case in which an adult, trusted with the care of children, allegedly took advantage of that trust,” Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan said.
Martin’s lawyer told the court on Friday that he had no idea the boy was under 18 years old, adding that Grinder users must certify that they are over 18.
Martin is due back in court on April 6.