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Elite US boarding school acknowledges decades of 'sexual misconduct' by staff

An investigation into St Paul’s School reviewed 34 current and former staff members.

This file photo shows the entrance to St Paul's School in the US.
This file photo shows the entrance to St Paul's School in the US.

A REPORT RELEASED today by St Paul’s School, an elite boarding school in Concord in the US state of New Hampshire, details the “substantiated claims” of sexual misconduct by 13 former faculty and staff members at the school.

The investigation, conducted by Casner & Edwards law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, was requested by the school in 2016 following an announcement that a former teacher was fired in 1974 for admitted sexual misconduct.

The report reviewed 34 current and former St Paul’s staff members and found:

  • 13 substantiated claims of sexual misconduct by former faculty and staff
  • 10 other reports of sexual misconduct by former faculty and staff
  • 11 unsubstantiated claims of sexual misconduct by current and former faculty and staff. The claims were anonymous and therefore could not be substantiated.

St Paul’s issued a letter to the larger community apologising for the wrongdoing that occurred at the school and its failure to pursue prior allegations.

“There is no excuse for the failure to pursue allegations when they were initially made in 2000,” the letter read.

That was an error in both priorities and basic judgment and it is important to correct those actions.

St Paul’s was recently at the core of a criminal trial that gained national attention. In 2015 Chessy Prout, 15 at the time of the incident, alleged that senior Owen Labrie had sex with her without her consent in a mechanical closet.

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Labrie claimed that the interaction was consensual and that it ended short of them having sexual intercourse.

Labrie was found guilty of three misdemeanor sexual-assault charges related to the girl’s age, one felony charge of using a computer to entice a minor, and endangering the welfare of a child.

He avoided a conviction for the most serious charge, felony sexual assault, meaning jurors believed the sexual contact occurred but remained unconvinced that it was nonconsensual.

Read: ‘Legally blind’ Bill Cosby arrives for jury selection in sex assault trial

Read: Former primary school teacher who told victim ‘God would take his ill mother’ found guilty of sexual assault

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