TF Back in Court for Sexual Assault Charge

MEDFORD, Mass.—Court proceedings in the case against Bradley J. Spencer, a former Harvard teaching fellow who has pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexually assaulting a woman on an MBTA train in December, will resume in June.

Spencer appeared in Cambridge District Court on Wednesday morning.

His lawyer, Charles Rankin, asked for a continuance on the grounds that he would like Spencer to receive as much psychological treatment as possible before going to trial. The judge granted Rankin’s request.

At the compliance hearing on Wednesday, Rankin told the judge that his client has been in “sexual treatment” since shortly after his arrest. According to Rankin, Spencer has seen a doctor once a week in a one-on-one setting and once a week in a group setting.

Rankin declined The Crimson’s request for comment.


The alleged assault was reported by a 32-year-old Cambridge resident in December. According to reports of the victim’s statement, a man who was later identified as Spencer was standing unusually close to her on the MBTA when she felt something push against her crotch. She then saw Spencer’s hand close to her crotch.

The victim snapped a picture of the offender with her cell phone and reported the incident to the police after she exited the T.

After his arraignment in December, Spencer was briefly incarcerated and then released on bail, which was first set at $1,000 but then raised to $5,000.

His bail came with the condition that he wear an electronic monitor bracelet and refrain from using the MBTA and other forms of public transportation.

After the incident was reported last winter, Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesperson Jeff Neal reported that Spencer, a graduate student in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, would not take classes or work as a teaching fellow during the spring semester.

“Generally speaking, in cases where a student has been accused of a serious crime, that student is often asked to leave campus during the course of the investigation and legal proceedings, pending their outcome,” Neal wrote in an email following the December hearing.

Spencer is scheduled to appear in court again for a motion hearing on June 20.

—Julia K. Dean contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Amy Q. Friedman can be reached at