AUBURN (CBS) – A retired Auburn music teacher accused of raping a child was released on $5,000 bail following his arraignment Thursday.
Stephen Jaszek, 62, of South Hadley denies accusations that he sexually assaulted a student in a modular classroom at the now-closed Bancroft Elementary School nine years ago.
He declined comment while walking out of Worcester Superior Court with his defense attorney, Peter Pasciucco, after his arraignment Thursday. Pasciucco said Jaszek denies the accusations and maintains his innocence.
Jaszek pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated rape of a child and one count of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Bail was set at $5,000, half the amount that had been asked by prosecutors.
Jaszek, who retired in 2014, was arrested at his home in South Hadley Wednesday, after being indicted on the charges two days earlier.
Prosecutor Alyssa Kilmurray said Jaszek taught music to third- and fifth-grade students, in school and private lessons, and that the alleged abuse occurred over an extended period of time.
Pasciucco had asked that Jaszek be released on personal recognizance. He said that Jaszek — who has no criminal record and has been happily married for 20 years — has a teenage son who is being treated for an illness.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maryellen Brunelle says the district is fully cooperating with investigators.
“According to the police, the victim in these assaults was then a student at the Julia Bancroft School and it is alleged that these profoundly disturbing acts took place during the school day approximately 9 years ago,” Brunelle said in a letter to families.