Former Chicopee teacher pleads guilty on rape charges

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A former High School teacher in Springfield, Mass. was charged with raping a 15-year-old student, news sources report.

Donald Cushing, 60, of Chicopee, pleaded guilty in Hampden Superior Court on Monday to five counts of rape and abuse of a child and five counts of dissemination obscene matter to a minor, The Republican Massachusetts reports.

The 15-year-old girl told police that she and Cushing exchanged cell phone numbers, and they began calling and texting each other every day. In April into May "things got very serious," the girl said. They had sexual intercourse on the floor of the classroom closet "three or four times," she said. In March and May, Cushing had texted images of his genitalia to the girl, she later told police. Family members found sexual text messages in the girl's phone Tuesday, Private Officer News reports.

Cushing has been sentenced to eight to ten years in state prison and will be on probation for ten years under nine special conditions including: No contact with the victim and her family; no unsupervised contact with children under 16 with the exception of family members; and successful completion of sex offender treatment, The Republican reports.

The action taken by the school and police personnel "reflects our zero tolerance policy for this type of incident," Chicopee Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette said, Private Officer News reports.

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