Trial date set for teacher charged with assaulting student

June 20, 2022 GMT

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A culinary arts teacher at a Massachusetts high school charged with inappropriately touching a student in 2019 has been scheduled for trial in September.

Robert Vandenbulcke’s trial on a charge of indecent assault and battery was scheduled for Sept. 21 after his attorney told a district court judge on Friday that there are no ongoing efforts for a plea agreement, The Salem News reported.

The then 16-year-old student at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical High School in Danvers told investigators that the teacher touched him twice as they worked together in the school kitchen on Nov. 12, 2019.

Vandenbulcke, 64, of Salisbury, was arrested after the student went with a parent to police to report the allegations. He has pleaded not guilty but neither he nor his attorney has commented publicly. He is free on bail.

The school has suspended him.

Vandenbulcke had worked at Greater Lawrence Technical School before moving to Essex Tech. He also once ran a popular Newburyport restaurant in the 1990s.