Arthur Ellis / Photo, Westport Police Department

WESTPORT — A 72-year-old teacher at Bedford Middle Schools has been charged with sexual assault for allegedly touching a student inappropriately at the school last December.

Arthur Ellis, of Westerly, R.I., was charged April 27 with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child.

Ellis, who taught engineering and design at the middle school, was “immediately” placed on leave from his job Jan. 27 after school officials were informed that a complaint about the incident was filed with police and the state Department of Children and Families, according to Supt. of Schools Thomas Scarice. He has not been allowed on school grounds since then, the superintendent said.

Ellis also coached the Science Olympiad team.

Scarice, who said Thursday he had informed the Bedford community about the arrest, added, “Given the nature of the investigation and the fact that this is also a personnel matter, the district is not at liberty to discuss this matter any further.  

“The district has, and will continue to, fully cooperate with the Westport Police Department in any way necessary to support their work,” Scarice said.

Police received a complaint Jan. 27 regarding an incident in which a student reported that Ellis had touched her inappropriately during class.

Based on the detective’s “extensive” investigation of the incident, according to the police report, a warrant for Ellis’ arrest was issued.

Ellis turned himself in April 27 at Police Department headquarters.

He was released after posting $100,000 bond, and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges May 6 at state Superior Court in Stamford.