DANVERS, Mass. — A Danvers teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student has been ordered to stay away from the school, students and to wear a GPS monitor.
On Thursday, 62-year-old Robert Vandenbulcke faced an Essex Superior Court judge on charges of indecent assault and battery on a minor.
A not guilty plea was entered on Vandenbulcke's behalf as he sat in silence.
Vandenbulcke, a culinary arts teacher at Essex North Shore Regional Technical High School, is accused of inappropriately touching a sophomore student on two occasions last week during one of his classes.
According to court documents, the teenage student told police Vandenbulcke dropped a towel and as he picked it up he pressed his hand against the boy's groin. The alleged victim told police "he couldn't believe what happened and was at a loss."
The victim also alleges it happened again, telling police "he felt gross and violated."
When he left class, the boy says he reported the incident to a school officer and a friend.
Vandenbulcke ignored questions as he left court. The school district says the matter is currently under investigation and Vandenbulcke has been placed on paid administrative leave.
"It's horrifying, that's terrible, no I didn't think anything like that would happen here, I guess, but I guess it can happen anywhere," said Lynn Shea, of Danvers.
According to the DA's office, Vandenbulcke has no prior criminal history.
He has been ordered to wear a GPS monitor and was ordered to stay away from the school, the victim and any witnesses.
Vandenbulcke is due back in court in January.
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