A Massachusetts teaching assistant has been fired and is facing rape charges involving two students at an Easton school, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's office.
Matthew Parris, 29, of Raynham, was arraigned Monday in Taunton District Court on charges of aggravated statutory rape, rape of a child with force and kidnapping of a child, according to court documents. He was ordered to be held without bail.
Prosecutors say the incidents happened between February and March and involved two underage students at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School after Parris allegedly reached out to the victims through Instagram.
One of the victims, a 15-year-old, reported the alleged assaults to police last week, saying Parris forced her to have sex with him in a storage shed outside the school in the middle of a class.
The other student told police that Parris allegedly forced her to have sex with him in a closet at the school. Prosecutors say Parris also threatened to hurt that girl's family if she didn't keep having sex with him.
Parris was fired on Thursday according to Superintendent Luis Lopes.
"On Thursday we were notified of a potentially serious and completely inappropriate incident between one of our teaching assistants and several students. Given the seriousness of the accusations and the facts gathered by our administrative team, that individual's employment was immediately terminated at Southeastern. Furthermore, that person is not allowed on school property and is not allowed any contact with our students," read a statement from Lopes.
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He added that students, parents and faculty were notified over the weekend, but he did not disclose the details of the allegations due to the ongoing investigation.
"The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority which is why, given the severity of the charges, we took immediate action and put safeguards in place including issuing a no-trespass, turning over all our notes to the police, and meeting with the parents of those involved," Lopes said.
Parris was a teaching assistant at the school for 18 months, Lopes said.
The district attorney's office and local police are working with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Family Services on the investigation.
Parris is due back in court on Thursday.