PATERSON - A former Paterson gym teacher was charged with aggravated sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child after he was accused of inappropriately touching a 10-year-old girl.

Edward Clark, 35, pleaded not guilty to the charges in court Friday. His attorney says that he is innocent.

“He’s beyond shocked,” says attorney Ronald Ricci. “He doesn’t understand why it’s happening and why someone would say this about him.”

Clark was the physical education teacher at School 8 on Chadwick Street in Paterson. Paterson police say that a student claimed that Clark inappropriately touched her during school.

School officials have decided to cut ties with Clark amid the allegations.

"He's adamant that this did not happen…and we're confident that this case will be dismissed,” Ricci says.

The school did not say if they would consider reinstatement if the charges were dropped.