Boston Herald [Boston MA]
April 16, 2021
By Marie Szaniszlo
A 37-year-old Wellesley woman was arraigned on Friday on charges of repeatedly raping a student she met while she was a teacher at a Hudson middle school, prosecutors said.
Caitlin Harding was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on March 18 on one count of rape of a child by force, three counts of aggravated rape of a child and five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office.
The defendant allegedly assaulted the girl, who was 13 then, multiple times over the course of several months in 2010, the DA’s Office said.
Harding was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on Friday and released on personal recognizance on the conditions that she have no direct or indirect contact with the alleged victim or witnesses, have no unsupervised contact with children under 18 and not work or volunteer with children under 18. A scheduling conference will be held on May 18.
At the time of the alleged rapes, she was a teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School, which has since closed, her attorney, Brad Bailey, said. She now does COVID-19 testing, Bailey said.
“My client has had an exemplary career as an educator, mentor and coach, and she emphatically and unequivocally denies the allegations against her,” he said. “Any time you have charges that are so remote in time — in this case more than 10 years — it cannot help but raise questions and doubts and ought to be regarded with a high degree of skepticism. My client and I are 100% certain that the truth will come out and that justice will prevail.”
WCVB said on the air that she is the daughter of Ed Harding, one of the station’s reporters.
Mitchell Garabedian, who represents the alleged victim, said: “Any sexual assault victim shows an enormous amount of courage, strength and determination by coming forward and reporting sexual assault.”
He declined to comment further because of the pending criminal case.