• Ex-West Springfield teacher pleads not guilty to child rape


    NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - A former middle school teacher from Southampton has pleaded not guilty to child rape and other charges.

    Prosecutors say James Parks had a sexual relationship with a girl that started when she was 11 and lasted several years.
    The 55-year-old Parks was allowed to remain free on the $1,000 bail posted in district court, with GPS monitoring, at his arraignment Tuesday in Hampshire Superior Court.
    The prosecutor said GPS monitoring was warranted in light of Parks' alleged behavior following his arrest, including leaving town for a couple of days without notice and attempting suicide.
    Parks' attorney argued against monitoring, saying his client is not a flight risk.
    Parks was a science teacher at West Springfield Middle School but is now unemployed. The alleged victim was not one of his students.

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