WORCESTER — The trial of a retired Auburn elementary school music teacher accused of raping one of his former students kicked off Monday in Worcester Superior Court.
The teacher, Stephen Jaszek, 66, of South Hadley, was arrested in August 2018 on two counts of statutory rape of a child, two counts of aggravated rape of a child (five-year age difference) and aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
According to Craig Semon of the Telegram & Gazette, Jaszek has denied all of the charges and opted for a jury-waived trial.
The accuser, now 23-years-old, alleges that when she was in the fifth grade Jaszek raped her – both orally and vaginally – on multiple occasions while he was her music teacher at the Julia Bancroft Elementary School in Auburn.
The alleged victim took the stand as the first witness Monday. She testified that in the third and fourth grade, Jaszek told her she was his best student.
In the fifth grade, at her parents’ behest to join band, she decided to take up the trumpet in order to avoid Jaszek out of fear because he didn’t teach that particular instrument. She claimed her avoidance of Jaszek was due to her observation of him having angry outbursts at other students.
Nevertheless, her supposed attempt to avert Jaszek was thwarted when he ended up teaching trumpet. As her trumpet teacher, she testified that Jaszek would require her and two other students to stay with him during recess to practice their instruments.
Then, when the other students stopped showing up, it was just her and Jaszek, practicing behind his desk, which The Telegram & Gazette reports, was behind a partition.
Before too long he pulled his penis out of his pants and had her touch it. He then gradually kicked it up a notch, eventually forcing her into fallatio and vaginal sex, four times each.
Jaszek’s attorney, Kenneth Anderson asserts he is completely innocent. The only thing in his file at the school, he said, is him being cited for getting angry at students. Jaszek retired from Julia Bancroft Elementary School in 2014 after working there for 35 years.
Anderson added that the victim was lacking in credibility because of known mental health problems that preceded the alleged abuse. He said that she has obsessive compulsive disorder and by her own admission, has to touch every corner of a room four times and read everything four times, so that’s why she claims she was raped in two difference orifices four times each. However, the alleged victim told the assistant district attorney from the stand that she isn’t fixated on the number four.
Anderson also alleged that she has been cutting and otherwise harming herself since she was nine and continues to do so now in her 20s.
According to court testimony, the victim suffers from derealization, which is a mental state whereby one feels detached from their surroundings and therefore can’t differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t. She also reportedly suffers from “flashbacks” which she said make it difficult for her to discern whether her memories are of actual events or not.
The victim is taking the stand again today.