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Student charged with assault after Mugar Library incident

A Boston University student was charged with assault and battery following an incident in Mugar Memorial Library Sunday night, university and city officials said.

Prateek Jain, 19, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery on Monday in Brighton District Court, Jake Wark, a Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman, said.

The BU Police Department received a report of the incident at 9:45 p.m., Captain Robert Molloy  said. A female student reported that the male student put his hands under her shirt while she sat at a desk in the library.

“There was a conversation before that, she had just met him,” Molloy said. “He asked her a question before that, then came back and sat next to her and started up a conversation and then did that.”

Officers arrested Jain, an Allston resident, in Mugar shortly after the report was filed, Molloy said.

BUPD had sought a complaint of indecent assault and battery “based on the nature of the incident,” but a clerk in the Brighton District Court issued assault and battery charges, Wark said.

Wark said the defendant placed his hand the victim’s stomach, which is usually considered a private area due to its close proximity to the chest.

“Cases of that nature are generally charged as indecent assault and battery but the charges are actually issued by the clerk’s office,” Wark said in a phone interview.

The Brighton District Court Clerk’s office was unavailable for comment at press time.

A not-guilty plea was automatically entered on Jain’s behalf in the arraignment, as is the common practice for defendants in the district court, Wark said. Jain was held on $500 bail, and he was ordered to stay away from the victim while the case remains open. Wark did not comment about whether or not he made bail.

The next court date for Jain is scheduled for March 23.

Wark made no comment about the defendant’s hands going underneath the victim’s shirt, but did confirm that the victim was touched on her stomach.

Upon receiving the report, BUPD searched the library, identified the student and placed him under arrest.

Security at Mugar declined to comment.

BU spokesman Colin Riley said the Dean of Students office will determine what disciplinary actions should be taken.

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