TOP 10: Two high-profile sex cases shake North Attleboro
A former assistant pastor of an Attleboro church is now in prison and a former music teacher and guidance counselor in North Attleboro has a rape indictment pending against him in two shocking sex abuse cases this past year.
The Rev. Jeffrey A. Nichols, 48, was a trusted man of the cloth at Grace Baptist Church and a well-respected principal of Grace Baptist Christian Academy until his arrest Jan. 13 for molesting one of his seventh-grade female students.
He confessed to Pastor Jeff Bailey, who urged him to immediately turn himself in, and then admitted to his crimes when questioned by police. Nichols repeatedly indecently touched the girl, beginning in 2008 when she was only 13. He also made sexual comments to her, exposed himself to her and asked her to expose herself to him, prosecutors said after his arrest.
On Nov. 6, Nichols, a married father of three children whose wife was also a teacher at the school, was sentenced in Fall River Superior Court to a maximum 5-year prison term after pleading guilty.
His lawyer, Gregory DiPaolo of Fall River, said Nichols’ expressed remorse about his behavior from the very beginning. When he completes his prison term, Nicholas will be on probation, must register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender’s counseling.
In North Attleboro, parents and school officials expressed shock after police arrested 31-year-old Brian J. McBride for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old female student and sending another female student sexually graphic texts and photos.
McBride was a guidance counselor at the North Attleboro Middle School and taught private music lessons at his home in Attleboro until he was fired after his arrest May 24.
He has pleaded innocent in Fall River Superior Court to five counts of aggravated statutory rape of a child and one count each of enticing a child under 16 and sending obscene matter to a minor, according to court records.
But police say he made a videotaped confession when questioned by investigators at the North Attleboro police station before his arrest. Prosecutors say he allegedly had sex with the 14-year-old girl at his home, at the school and in his car while parked at the Emerald Square mall.
McBride was jailed for several months until McBride, who now lives in Rhode Island where his family resides, was able to post $30,000 cash bail in the fall.
Both men were trusted educators before their brushes with the law. Nichols had been known to the church congregation for his compassion and work helping drug addicts, alcoholics and homeless people.
McBride, who was married with a 16-month-old child at the time of his arrest, was a popular music teacher at the middle school for seven years before being appointed in January as a guidance counselor.
As a condition of his release from jail, McBride was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims or unsupervised contact with minor children.
He is due back in Fall River Superior Court Jan. 5 for a pretrial conference.
His case prompted the Hockomock Area YMCA to form the North Attleboro Child Safety Committee as part of an effort to better protect children from abuse and neglect. The committee includes representatives from the town administration and school, police, fire, health and park and recreation departments.