- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old high school student.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office says 18-year-old Patrick Cowart was arraigned Thursday and pleaded not guilty to one count of rape. He is being held on $50,000 bail.

Prosecutors say the alleged assault happened while a group of Framingham High School students were drinking and doing drugs in a wooded area on Wednesday.

School administrators noticed the student was missing from class and later found her disoriented nearby. Police say she was taken to the hospital and told them she was raped.

His attorney says the encounter was consensual. Cowart is due back in court Dec. 7.

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