QUINCY (CBS) – A Cohasset Middle-High School teacher accused of indecently assaulting a female student pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Thursday.
Jeffrey Knight, 57, of Pembroke, was released on personal recognizance after facing a judge in Quincy District Court. He is charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older. He is due back in court on Nov. 28.READ MORE: I-Team: Kids In Crisis Spend Weeks In Emergency Room Waiting For Mental Health Services
All charges relate to the same victim, according to police, who launched an investigation after the student came forward.
A criminal complaint filed in Quincy District Court alleges that Knight indecently touched a female minor student during class on dates in 2017 and 2018, police said.
Prosecutor Emily Nesson said the victim told investigators that Knight touched her “on a daily basis” in class.
Knight’s defense attorney refuted the allegations in court, saying there is no evidence to support the claims.
“We don’t think there’s any evidence, your honor,” the attorney told the judge.READ MORE: Worcester Businesses Hope WooSox Help Them Bounce Back From COVID Pandemic
The student reported Knight’s alleged conduct to school officials in February, yet schools officials did not report it to law enforcement until May, prosecutors said in court. A reason for the delay in reporting to police was not discussed in court.
Knight was placed on administrative leave when the investigation began, Cohasset Schools Superintendent Louise Demas said in a statement in August.
“We are monitoring the court case closely, and Knight’s employment status is under review,” Demas said at the time.
Knight has been employed by the Cohasset school district as a middle school teacher since August 2011.
“I am disturbed and deeply troubled by these allegations. I understand that families, students, faculty, and staff alike will no doubt have questions. Due to legal limitations, I cannot discuss the allegations further,” Demas said in August. Counselors have been made available for students at the Middle and High schools.
“Anyone who has questions, concerns, or just needs to talk to someone will be encouraged to use these private and helpful resources,” Demas said.MORE NEWS: TD Garden Capacity Increases As Bruins Head Into Playoffs
The Cohasset Police Department, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office were part of the investigation.