A Massachusetts professor has been put on leave after allegedly raping a female student he met on a “sugar daddy” website inside his office in October, authorities said this week.
Nicholas Pirelli, a 36-year-old communications professor at Bridgewater State University, was charged Wednesday with rape and indecent assault and battery in connection with the alleged assault on Oct. 20, 2019, campus police told The Daily Beast. He is out on $2,500 bail.
While the accuser, who has not been identified, is a student at the university, she was not enrolled in any of Pirelli’s classes.
“We are deeply disturbed and angered to learn of these allegations, which are so contrary to our values as a caring and supportive community,” Bridgewater State University President Frederick Clark said in a Friday letter, noting that Pirelli has been placed on leave and “barred” from campus. “I want to strongly reiterate that we have absolutely no tolerance for abuse or violence against any members of our campus community, and we are committed to holding accountable anyone responsible for acts of physical and sexual assault.”
According to the police report obtained by Enterprise News, Pirelli and the female student met last October on seeking.com, a website that matches “sugar babies” with “sugar daddies.” The professor, who was looking to find somebody interested in dominating him with whips and chains, allegedly offered to “spoil” her after the two connected.
After the pair began texting, Pirelli allegedly requested the student take "risky" pictures. She allegedly sent explicit photos and videos and the professor sent a nude photo in return. In another photo, Pirelli showed off a sex toy “collection,” according to the police report.
When he learned she was a student at Bridgewater State University, Pirelli allegedly told her: “We will have to be discreet.”
The week before the alleged October rape, the 36-year-old sent the student $5 through Venmo as a “test.” Days later, the two agreed to meet at a Dunkin’ Donuts in West Bridgewater to “see if they had a good connection in person.” He sent the woman $20 to cover her taxi ride, authorities allege.
After the meeting, Pirelli sent her $50 to go shopping. Pirelli contacted the student at about 9 p.m. that day and offered to help with her essay, the police report states. Pirelli told her to meet him inside his office at the campus library.
The woman told authorities that immediately after she entered the office, Pirelli locked the door and the two worked on her essay for about 30 minutes. Without warning, Pirello “abruptly leaned over” and kissed her, the police report states. She said she felt trapped because she was sitting on a low bean bag chair at the time.
“As Pirelli learned in, the victim placed her hands in front of her chest with her palms facing outwards, in an effort to prevent Pirelli from coming any closer or laying on top of her,” the report states, according to Enterprise News.
Pirelli then performed forcible anal oral sex on her with consent, the student said. After the assault, which she said made her feel “trapped” and “nervous,” she said she left and told her two roommates but did not feel comfortable telling authorities or ceasing communication with Pirelli out of fear for her collegiate future.
Bridgewater University Police confirmed the woman reported the incident to her two roommates the night it allegedly happened, and that “detectives found the victim credible throughout their interviews with her.”
The student reported the incident on Tuesday to campus police, prompting Bridgewater State police to interview the professor the following day. While Pirelli initially stated he didn’t believe he knew the student, or ever used Venmo to send students money, he later recanted—admitting he “may have” met her outside of a classroom.
When detectives asked Pirelli if the student was ever a guest in his office and if he had met her online, he replied to both questions with a “maybe.” Pirelli also admitted to previously using seeking.com, but “he did not have an account anymore,” the report states.
“When confronted with the report of inappropriate touching, Pirelli stated, ‘That is extreme,’ and stated that he did nothing wrong,” according to the police report. “Detectives found Pirelli to be not credible and noted that he had apparently lied when asked questions regarding matters that were already on record or easily confirmable, thus indicating apparent consciousness of guilt on Pirelli’s part.”
The 36-year-old was arrested immediately after the interview.