A retired Massachusetts music teacher accused of raping a child during school hours faced a judge Thursday morning.
South Hadley resident Stephen Jaszek, 62, pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape of a child and another charge of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a childer under 14 during his arraignment at Worcester Superior Court following his arrest on Wednesday.
The alleged assault involved a fourth-grade student nine years ago at Julia Bancroft Elementary School in Auburn. Prosecutors said Jaszek repeatedly raped the child during school hours for a long period of time.
"These assaults would take place on school property and on school hour," said prosecutor Alyssa Ann Kilmurray.
Jaszek's attorney, Peter Pasciucco, said Wednesday was the first time his client had heard of the allegations, and said he remembers the student, but hasn't seen them in nine years, and add Jaszek does not have a criminal record.
"He has every intention of fighting against these allegations,” said Pasciucco.
The defense asked the judge for personal recognizance since Jaszek has a 14-year-old son with a serious medical condition, but the judge set bail at $5,000 cash and ordered Jaszek to wear a GPS device, not to contact the victim or any children under 16 except for his son as conditions for his release.
"He has absolutely no record, he has had no interaction with the criminal justice system," Pasciucco said. "He's shocked and confused by the allegations and rejects all the allegations. There's no physical evidence and no eyewitnesses."
Auburn Public Schools said Jaszek retired his position as a music teacher at the school in 2014.
"It's crazy. I can't believe it. I just can't believe it," said one parent, who sent her children to the elementary school but declined to appear on camera. "I didn't have any problems with him. I would have never thought that. But you never know people."
That mother said Jaszek organized shows with the students for holidays and programs.
"Please know that the alleged reprehensible acts of this individual do not in any way characterize the Auburn Public Schools or what we stand for, some of those qualities being respect, integrity and high expectations, all done in partnership with our students' families and the entire Auburn community," Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle said in a statement.
Jaszek still gives music lessons part-time to third, fourth and fifth graders.
His next court appearance will be Sept. 24.
The Worcester district attorney's office asks anyone with information on the case to call Auburn police at 508-832-7777 or the DA's Children Advocacy Center at 508-792-0214.
The investigation is ongoing.