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Former athletic director at St. Michael School in Lowell charged with indecent assault on a child

The former athletic director at St. Michael School in Lowell was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 in connection with his inappropriate contact with a female victim, officials said.

James Parker, 24, of Methuen, was released on personal recognizance at his arraignment in Lowell District Court and ordered to stay away from and have no contact with the victim, stay away from St. Michael School, not abuse the victim and her family, and have no contact with children under 16, according to a spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Parker, who began working at St. Michael School on Sept. 1, has been fired, officials said.


Principal Mark Rocha said in a Nov. 19 letter to parents and staff that he had terminated Parker earlier that day “for violating school policy regarding communications with a student.”

Rocha said he had notified civil authorities; the Rev. Christopher Lowe, administrator of St. Michael Parish; and the Archdiocese of Boston. A spokesman for the archdiocese declined to comment further.

Every employee at the school undergoes a reference check and criminal background check, and every employee is required to take the training course “Protecting God’s Children,” Rocha said.

“The number one priority of all Saint Michael School teachers and staff will always be the safety, well-being and educational progress of your children,” he said.

Parker’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thanksgiving morning.

Parker is due back in court Dec. 26.

This story has been updated to correct the date James Parker is due back in court.

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