A Massachusetts professor accused of raping a female student he met on a “sugar daddy” website in October is now facing additional charges after two new women came forward with similar allegations—including one student who said he tried to make her his “personal prostitute,” according to authorities and court documents.
Nicholas Pirelli, a 36-year-old temporary communications professor at Bridgewater State University, was charged Tuesday with trafficking a person for sexual servitude, distributing an obscene matter, sexual conduct for a fee, and criminal harassment after two students came forward with allegations following his March 5 arrest.
“Each allegation had similar fact patterns, and some are very recent,” a court filing said. “One student alleged that Pirelli appeared to be grooming [her] for sexual activities.” She was scheduled to attend a conference with Pirelli this month in Cape Cod, and Pirelli “told her she could drink underage and was trying to convince her to spend the night with him if she were to drink,” according to a Bridgewater State University Police report, obtained by The Daily Beast, that details other uncharged allegations against the professor.
Pirelli is already facing rape and indecent assault and battery charges in connection with an alleged assault on Oct. 20, 2019, campus police told The Daily Beast. He allegedly performed forcible anal oral sex on a female student he met on seeking.com, a website that matches “sugar babies” with “sugar daddies.” The alleged rape happened in his office after he lured her there to look over an essay she wrote. According to Enterprise News, after Pirelli’s arrest became public, several women filed similar complaints with authorities. The police report detailed two new alleged victims.
One of the new victims, a female student, said she met the professor on the same website in December, and the two talked extensively about his “large collection” of sex toys. At one point, according to the report, Pirelli offered to pay her for sex and even described his desire to find somebody interested in dominating him with whips and chains—a request he allegedly made with the first student.
“When a woman is dominant, I want her to tie me down, choke me, and feel strong enough to put me in chastity if she wants to,” Pirelli allegedly wrote to the student, according to the report. “I want her to feel like she owns every part of my body and can do whatever she wants to it.”
Despite the professor’s insistence, the student said she repeatedly denied his offer to pay her for sex and stressed to him she only wanted to earn extra money through conversation and possibly exchanging photographs.
Between Jan.19 and Feb. 25, Pirelli sent her more than $300 on several occasions through Venmo, sometimes even sending her money “in an attempt to get her attention,” Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth O’Connell said at Pirelli’s Wednesday arraignment.
On Feb. 16, Pirelli allegedly texted the student to meet in person, asking her if she had ever had anal sex and offering to “ease her into it,” O’Connell said. Pirelli then offered her $200 to meet for dinner—but with the caveat that he wanted her to stimulate him with a sex toy throughout the meal, according to the report.
“It is clear that Pirelli attempted to recruit [the female student] as his own personal prostitute by enticing her with the promise of money in exchange for sexual acts,” the police report stated, noting the student did not go through with the request.
The woman told authorities she was so shocked by the offer she started to respond to Pirelli less frequently, prompting Pirelli to allegedly send her an unsolicited photo of his erect penis. According to O’Connell, Pirelli contacted the student on March 1 to question her on her plans for the evening other than “missing out on me and $200 compensation.”
Authorities said a third female student filed a report on Saturday, stating that Pirelli—who was her adviser and convinced her to change her major to public relations—sent her $155 through Venmo unbeknownst to her. She stated that while she didn’t initially know the identity of the person sending her the money, when she learned through a friend that Pirelli was a “sugar daddy,” she “felt a pit in her stomach,” the police report stated.
The student also said Pirello paid her $50 to take a test to figure out her major and told her he would review the results during his office hours, the report stated. The student said after she learned it was Pirelli sending her money, she told him to stop contacting her—but the professor emailed her several times and the harassment made her feel “extremely uncomfortable.”
Pirelli’s attorney, Scott Bradley, disputed all the allegations in court Wednesday, calling the original rape charge “the weakest I’ve seen in 20 years as a lawyer” and stating the new sex trafficking charge “isn’t going to go anywhere” and is “at best, attempted sex for a fee.”
“All of these women go on a website, judge, that seeks out men with money to provide them stuff in exchange for pictures and whatnot,” Bradley said, according to Enterprise News.
“They’re making it out to be a lot more nefarious than it is. It’s not a human trafficking case whatsoever.”
A Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told The Daily Beast that bail was set at a combined $6,000 for the two new charges after Pirelli pleaded not guilty to all the charges on Wednesday. Should he post bail, he will be forced to wear an ankle monitor and be ordered to stay away from the university.
“Sexual assault is a national issue. That is completely unacceptable in our society,” Bridgewater State President Frederick Clark said in a Wednesday letter to campus obtained by The Daily Beast, acknowledging the “disappointment” about Pirelli being on paid leave. “At Bridgewater State, we have worked hard through education and outreach to prevent sexual assault and, when it does occur, to encourage members of our community to come forward and report instances of sexual harassment or assault.”