6th-grade teacher picked up female students, put them in trash cans, Mass. court records say

James Sullivan is charged with assault and battery and indecent assault and battery of a child under 14.
James Sullivan is charged with assault and battery and indecent assault and battery of a child under 14. Rochester Police Department

A student says James Sullivan’s behavior was “silly” at first, but then it became frightening, police said, according to WPRI.

Sullivan’s alleged victims were emotional as they detailed to police their sixth-grade teacher’s inappropriate behavior toward them during the school year, authorities said, the Boston Globe reported.

One of the victims told authorities that Sullivan, 35, put his hand on her buttocks and “held it there” on one occasion, the Boston Globe reported. She also said she saw him chasing a student around his classroom at Rochester Memorial School with a marker, documents show, according to the Globe. She alleges he was saying something about coloring the girl’s face, the newspaper reported.

A police report says the victim told investigators: "I don’t want him fired, I just want him to stop doing this," the Globe reported.

The alleged incidents came to light last week after police were called to the elementary school in the southern Massachusetts town, WCVB reported.

The Fairhaven man turned himself in to police Saturday on charges of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14 and assault and battery, police said Monday.

Three girls have accused Sullivan of inappropriate physical contact, Rochester police said.

Police say the teacher would allegedly ask the girls to do gymnastic moves, such as back-bends and hand-stands, while he took videos, The Associated Press reported. One of the students told investigators Sullivan would put girls in a recycling bin, and did it to her “a few times,” a police report said, WCVB reported. She said Sullivan picked her up by her arms and put her in a trash bin, court records say, the Globe reported.

The students told after-school daycare workers about the incidents, WCVB reported.

Sullivan has pleaded not guilty to the charges, the Boston Globe reported. The Rochester school district has suspended him, the AP said.

Superintendent Douglas White Jr. said school officials will continue cooperating with police and the district is conducting its own internal investigation of the allegations, the Boston Globe reported.