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Harvard grad student faces charges

Pleads not guilty to indecent assault on Red Line train

By John R. Ellement and Amanda Cedrone
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / December 13, 2011
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A Harvard University graduate student and teaching fellow pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of indecent assault on a woman on a Red Line train in Cambridge last month, officials said.

Bradley J. Spencer was arrested Friday after he was identified as the person whose picture was posted on a Transit Police wanted poster in stations and on the Web in connection with the assault.

Spencer, 36, of Fitchburg, was arraigned yesterday in Cambridge District Court in Medford on one count of indecent assault and battery. He was released on $1,000 cash bail and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet beginning today, said Jessica Pastore, spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office. He was ordered to stay away from the T and public transportation.

Transit Police received a tip about Spencer from a Harvard employee, according to an official briefed on the investigation who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the case.

According to Transit Police, a 32-year-old Cambridge woman reported that she boarded the Red Line at Harvard Square on Nov. 28.

As the train neared Kendall Square Station, a man indecently assaulted her, then got off the train at Park Street in Boston, police said.

At the time of the incident, the suspect was described as wearing a gray tweed sport coat, a blue collared shirt, and a red-and-gold college-type ring.

Spencer was enrolled as a graduate student at Harvard’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the time of the incident, Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal said in an e-mail yesterday.

Spencer will not be teaching at the university next semester, Neal said.

“In cases where a student has been accused of a serious crime, that student is often asked to leave campus during the course of the investigation and legal proceedings, pending their outcome,’’ Neal said.

Spencer has been an instructor or a teaching fellow in four courses at the college since 2009 and taught a course on the Dead Sea scrolls at Harvard Extension School this spring, according to his resume.

A call to Spencer’s lawyer, Stephen Linehan, was not immediately returned.

John Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com; Amanda Cedrone at acedrone@globe.com.

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