Northeastern Professor Arrested in Back Bay Prostitution Sting

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Photo by Alex Lau

Northeastern University. Photo by Alex Lau

A prostitution sting targeting the Back Bay led the arrests of five men Thursday, including a Northeastern University professor.

Dr. Harvey Shapiro, 63, of Needham, pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of seeking to engage in sex for a fee in Boston Municipal Court on Friday. Also arrested in the sex sting were Christopher Otero, 24, of Revere; Joshua Sternstein, 32, of Boston; Brad Watkins, 39, of Dorchester; and Robert P. Smith, 75, of the Back Bay.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley’s office says the men allegedly responded to an ad posted by police online and subsequently negotiated sex for a fee.

Shapiro taught courses on curriculum design and assessment at Northeastern and served on the Department of Education’s Curriculum Committee. He had previously served as dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College.

“Northeastern University will evaluate the entire set of circumstances around the allegations involving Mr. Shapiro and decide on the appropriate personnel action in accordance with our policies,” the school said in a statement.

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