Christian school principal accused of molesting student

Posted: 01/14/14 at 12:25 am EST      Last Updated: 01/15/14 at 11:42 pm EST

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WHDH) – The principal and former assistant pastor at the Grace Baptist Christian Academy is accused of molesting one of his female students.

Rev. Jeffrey Nichols appeared in court Tuesday morning on several indecent assault charges.

Prosecutors said he admitted to molesting a seventh grade student starting in 2008 and lasting until June 2013.

The 47-year-old is married and a father to three teenagers who also attend the school, one of which is around the same age as the victim.

The district attorney says the victim, who is now 18, was a student at Grace Baptist Christian Academy. She's a senior who just stopped coming to the school this week after police say she told them she was sexually abused during a five-year period.

The police report says Nichols demanded that the victim expose herself to him. It says Nicholas touched her and made demands over the years but she "continually denied his requests for sexual favors."

The senior pastor of the church said he fired Nichols on the spot and ordered him to turn himself in after he came to him Monday.

“He got out of his car and said I’m in trouble, can I talk to you. And so I said sure. And so he came up, told me everything. I dismissed his employment on the spot,” said Pastor Jeff Bailey.

“I'm working hard to suppress my anger. Because anger is going to get in way of what I need to do. I need the see this church and school through this,” added Bailey.

School and church leaders say they are trying to personally speak with each family to make sure that there are no other victims. They also say that there is a possibility that some of this alleged abuse may have happened on school property.

Nichols entered a not guilty plea, and is being held on $25,000 bail.

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