Not guilty pleas to four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 were entered on behalf of 31-year-old Nicholas Speller, of Malden, at his arraignment Thursday. He was released on $2,500 bail.
Prosecutors say the fourth-graders told the principal Speller touched their chests or legs on Wednesday at the Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School in East Boston. Responding officers say Speller appeared disoriented and drunk.
Bishop Henry Moultrie, pastor of Speller's church, says Speller does not drink and faces "false allegations." Speller's attorney said his client denies what he calls "vague" accusations.
Speller has been placed on administrative leave. The school system is providing counseling to the children.
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