Springfield middle school teacher accused of indecent assault on a minor

Springfield middle school teacher accused of indecent assault on a minor
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 8:06 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News in the courtroom as a Springfield middle school teacher faced a judge accused of indecent assault on a minor.

Robert Gayle stood before a judge in Springfield District Court this afternoon charged with assaulting one of his students in a classroom.

Prosecuting attorney, Clarissa Wright with the Hampden District Attorney’s office outlined the case against Gayle. She says his victim was a student at STEM Middle Academy in Springfield where Gayle teaches.

“One allegation is that he asked this individual to come to his classroom, and then at some point he pushed the victim, and then began kissing the victim on the neck. This occurred on a number of occasions,” Wright said.

She also detailed claims that the victim’s mother noticed marks on their neck which is how the case came to light. Additionally, the mother told investigators Gayle attempted to contact the victim and blocked him, but added that did not stop him.

Gayle’s defense attorney, Trevor Maloney making the case that his defendant served in the Navy and was planning to retire this past January.

“Mr. Gayle suffers from PTSD and depression. PTSD is related to some stints during his Navy service...He was recently told that his disability status should be upgraded to a total disability and that’s why he was planning on retiring in January,” explained Maloney.

There is now a cash bail set for $200,000. Gayle is ordered to stay 100 yards away from the victim and have no contact with people under the age of 16 unless supervised.

We reached out to the school district for their response to Gayle’s arrest. In a statement to Western Mass News, Springfield Public Schools spokesperson, Azell Cavaan says Gayle was placed on administrative leave on March 31st.

Gayle is expected to appear again in court on June 27th.