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May 18, 2017 5:43 PM

Phillips Exeter Academy apologizes to victim of sexual assault, promises safety commitment

EXETER — Phillips Exeter Academy apologized to Lawrence Jenkins, who was a victim of sexual assault by former admissions officer Arthur Peekel, in a face-to-face meeting Wednesday.

READ: Ex-Phillips Exeter admissions officer, Teacher of Year admits sex assault

Lawrence Jenkins traveled to New Hampshire last week to recount the details of the assault in court for Peekel's sentencing.

While in New Hampshire, Jenkins received and accepted an invitation to meet with the school's Principal Lisa MacFarlane and Head of Trustees Nicie Panetta.

According to a statement from PEA spokeswoman Robin Giampa, they were "very appreciative that Lawrence Jenkins accepted an invitation to meet with (them)." Giampa continued to say, "they were thankful for the opportunity to apologize to him in person on behalf of the school."

PEA recognized the difficulty for Jenkins to speak about the assault, and in their statement, Giampa stated,"(Jenkins') courageous action has helped us learn, and begin to come to terms with, a painful part of our past."

READ: Ex-Phillips Exeter admissions officer will 'likely' get plea deal in sexual assault case

In the closing remarks of the statement from PEA, the school reaffirmed that they "are committed to addressing the needs of those who have been harmed" and "are equally committed to providing the necessary resources, protections, and education to our students, to keep them safe and supported at Exeter."

PEA wrote their "current policy requires that adults who engage in inappropriate behavior towards students be reported to the authorities and their identities disclosed to the community."

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