Report: NH private school did not always notify police of sexual misconduct
CONCORD — St. Paul's School of Concord must report sexual assault to police, but an investigation report into previous sexual misconduct at the school showed that this did not always happen.
St. Paul's latest response plan for reporting incidents dates back to September of 2012, which was signed by former Dean of Students Thomas P. Bazos and former Concord Police Chief John F. Duval.
The agreement between the school and the police department sets reporting guidelines that meet RSA 193-D Safe School Zones requirements.
According to the response plan, aggravated felonious or felonious sexual assault must be reported to law enforcement and DCYF.
"Due to the complex nature of the law and specialized interview techniques law enforcement should be brought in at the first report," the plan read.
Lt. Sean Ford of the Concord Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division said even though the headline in the plan indicates just aggravated and felonious sexual assault, all sexual assault charges must be reported to the police department under RSA 193.
The plan also adds that the school and law enforcement must coordinate during these particular cases.
Ford reiterated that misdemeanor sex assault is not covered under simple assault, which according to the response plan, are handled on a "case by case basis."
“When it comes to something like a push, the reality is that we would have 50 calls a day at Concord High School alone,” Ford said.
The plan states that the school must notify parents of all cases of assault.
St. Paul's released an internal investigation report on sexual misconduct at the school Monday.
Boston law firm Casner & Edwards LLP looked into 34 former and current faculty and staff members accused of sexual misconduct. The school substantiated 13 of those allegations, which are currently being reviewed by the Concord Police Department after the school reportedly blindsided them with the report.
According to the investigation report, St. Paul's did not have formal procedures in place to facilitate or encourage reporting until around 1995. However, Casner & Edwards LLP did discover instances where students reported sexual misconduct to St. Paul's administrators while the faculty member who allegedly committed the assault still worked there, the report read.
One incident occurred in 1974 when a student confided to then Dean of Admissions John Buxton that Edward Lawrence "Larry" Katzenbach III had grabbed her left breast. Buxton reportedly replied to this information by saying, "What did you do to make him behave that way?"
Another occurred with Robert Maurice Degouey when a student allegedly told then Rector William A. Oates that he had a sexual relationship with Degouey over the summer. The former student told investigators in 2000 that Oates was only concerned about this information being leaked and affecting the reputation of St. Paul's, the report read.
The police department tries to sign agreements yearly with each school in their jurisdiction, but if this does not happen, then it falls back onto the last agreement.