Law School Student Pleads Not Guilty to Indecent Assault

WOBURN, Mass.—Brandon J. Winston, a Harvard Law School student charged with sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman, pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault and battery on Wednesday morning in Middlesex Superior Court.

Winston was indicted last month for inappropriately touching the victim’s breast and vaginal area on Jan. 15, 2011.

At the arraignment, assistant district attorney Marisa Tagliareni said that prosecutors presented six possible charges against Winston at the recent sitting of the grand jury that handed down the indictment. The grand jury indicted Winston for the two counts of indecent assault and battery but did not conclude that there was sufficient evidence of his guilt to indict him for the other four charges, which Tagliareni did not name.

Winston was released on bail following the arraignment.

As conditions of his bail, Winston must have no direct or indirect contact with the victim or any eyewitnesses in the case, must surrender his passport, and must sign a waiver of extradition which would permit Massachusetts authorities to bring him back to the state for trial if he were to leave.

When reached by phone Tuesday night, Winston declined to comment on the indictment.

He instead referred a request for comment to his attorney, Daniel K. Gelb, who wrote in an emailed statement Tuesday night, “Mr. Winston denies any wrongdoing and we do not wish to comment further at this time.”

Winston, Gelb, and Tagliareni did not return requests for comment after the arraignment on Wednesday.

Stephanie Guyotte, a spokesperson for the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, declined to state on Tuesday whether the victim is affiliated with the University.

The Harvard Web Directory lists Winston as a student enrolled in the Law School’s JD program. The directory also includes an email address for Winston that indicates that he enrolled with the Class of 2012, but the Harvard alumni database lists him as set to graduate with the Class of 2013.

Winston’s next court date is scheduled for Nov. 7.

—Staff writer Rebecca D. Robbins can be reached at rrobbins@college.harvard.edu.

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