By Associated Press - Thursday, March 12, 2020

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) - A professor at a Massachusetts college who was charged last week with raping a female student is now facing additional charges including sex trafficking and criminal harassment after several additional women stepped forward, authorities said.

Nicholas Pirelli, 36, a professor at Bridgewater State University, pleaded not guilty to the new charges in court on Wednesday, The Enterprise of Brockton reported.

Pirelli, of Plymouth, was initially arrested March 4 in connection with an alleged rape on campus in October. The allegations were brought to campus police the night before Pirelli’s first arrest.

A female student, who is not a student of Pirelli’s, told police she met him through a website that matches older men with younger women, according to court documents, and that he raped her in his office.

After Pirelli’s initial arrest, several more women filed complaints with police, Bridgewater State Police Chief David Tillinghast said.

Pirelli’s attorney, Scott Bradley, called last week’s rape charge against his client “the weakest I’ve seen in 20 years as a lawyer.” He said the new sex trafficking charge “isn’t going to go anywhere.”

Pirelli was freed on bail. The college has suspended him without pay.

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