Trial begins for former teacher charged with child rape

James Parks of Southampton has pleaded not guilty

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A former middle school teacher in western Massachusetts has gone on trial on allegations he raped and molested a girl over a five-year period.

A Superior Court jury in Northampton began hearing testimony Thursday in the case of James Parks of Southampton. He has pleaded not guilty to charges including child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Parks was arrested in June 2013, when he was a science teacher at West Springfield Middle School. Police say the girl wasn’t a student there.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that Parks’ lawyer, Jared Olanoff, told the jury that Parks denies raping the girl, but admits to inappropriately touching her when she was between 11 and 15 years old.

The girl is expected to testify Friday.

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Information from: Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.), http://www.gazettenet.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

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