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Fired Bridgewater State professor indicted on sex crime charges

Nicholas R. Pirelli.
Nicholas R. Pirelli.Bridgewater State University Police Department

A fired Bridgewater State University professor was indicted Monday on charges of rape and other sex crimes after several female students reported alleged assaults, the Plymouth district attorney’s office said Wednesday.

Nicholas Pirelli, 37, of Plymouth, was indicted on charges of rape, indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, engaging in sexual conduct for a fee, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, and three counts of disseminating obscene matter, the office of District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said in a statement.

Bridgewater State University police began investigating after a female student alleged that Pirelli, who was a temporary faculty member, sent her “inappropriate pictures” in October of last year following an exchange of messages on a dating website, according to Cruz’s office.

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That dating site is targeted at younger women and older men — referred to as “sugar daddies” on the homepage.

After the first student came forward, four more female students told police Pirelli had contacted them on the website and other social media platforms, the DA’s office said. Some of the women said they had rejected Pirelli’s advances after learning that he was a faculty member, but “Pirelli persisted in contacting the women and attempting to engage in sexual activity with them,” according to the statement.

He also allegedly sent the women money using Venmo and offered to help them get jobs on campus and to assist with their academic work, according to Cruz’s office.

In early March, Pirelli was charged with raping a student in his office and was placed on paid leave by the university. He pleaded not guilty to the initial charge but soon faced additional allegations, including a claim that he tried to turn a student into his “personal prostitute,” court filings show.

Bridgewater State later fired Pirelli. He is set to be arraigned in Brockton Superior Court on Feb. 25.

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Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.