Attleboro school principal charged with sex abuse

The Rev. Jeffrey Nichols

An Attleboro pastor and parochial school principal is accused of molesting one of his female students for years.

The Rev. Jeffrey Nichols was an associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church for about 23 years and also served as principal of Grace Baptist Christian Academy.

An 18-year-old woman reported an inappropriate relationship began with Nichols in 2008 when she was 13.{} Prosecutors said it continued until July.

Nichols, 47, faces several charges, including indecent assault and battery of a child under 14 and gross lewdness. He was ordered held on $25,000 bail.

Senior Pastor Jeff Bailey said Nichols told him about the relationship Monday night before going to police and being arrested. Bailey said he fired Nichols.

Bailey said he told the older children about the alleged incident on Tuesday. The school sent letters home to the parents of the younger children.

He said the church is also reaching out to past students to determine if anyone else was molested.

The Sun Chronicle reported that Nichols is a married father of three children and that his wife is a teacher at the school.