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St. Paul’s School finds evidence of sex assault against former students by staff

  • The entrance to the elite St. Paul’s School is seen Friday Aug. 14, 2015 in Concord, N.H. (AP File Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

  • The Schoolhouse building is seen at St. Paul's School in Concord on Monday, May 22, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • St. Paul's School in Concord, Monday, May 22, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • St. Paul's School in Concord, Monday, May 22, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • The Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul is seen at St. Paul's School in Concord on Monday, May 22, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • St. Paul's School in Concord, Monday, May 22, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Monday, May 22, 2017

An investigation into past allegations of sexual abuse by staff at St. Paul’s School shows a pattern where staff members were given broad discretion to meet with students on and off campus, including their private apartments, and many of these encounters turned sexual.

Some of the encounters were not consensual, investigators found. In several cases, the victims were groomed before they reached the age of consent for sex.

In other cases, older students and staff members engaged in regular sexual activity, and in two instances even got married after the students had graduated.

“One student explained how teachers would ‘make their friendships with (students) ... build trust ... (and then) abuse that trust,’” according to investigators who examined decades of allegations against former St. Paul’s staff.

Investigators found credible reports of sexual misconduct against the following 13 staff members:

Edward Lawrence “Larry” Katzenbach III: Katzenbach was an English and history teacher at St. Paul’s from 1971 to 1995. He died in August 1997 at the age of 53. He is accused of having sexual relationships with multiple female students, physically grabbing female students, and making inappropriate sexual remarks. The school declined to discipline Katzenbach and allowed him to continue teaching after he assured officials he would not invite any female students to his apartment. He resigned in 1994 and was given positive recommendations when applying for new jobs.

Jose A.G. “Senor” Ordonez: Ordonez was a history teacher from 1952 to 1987 and a former cross country coach. He was later the school’s archivist from 1987 to 2001. He died in February 2008. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with at least one male student and propositioning and grooming other students.

Steven David Ball: Ball was an English teacher from 1963 to 1999. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with a male student starting when the boy was 14. The student described being “physically seduced.” Ball denied the allegations when interviewed in 2000, but his denial was not deemed credible. He is believed to be living in France and was not contacted for the investigation.

Robert Maurice Degouey: Degouey was a French teacher from 1967 to 1978, and has since died. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with at least one male student. The student was confronted by Rector William Oates in 1978, who accused him of “boasting” about a sexual relationship with Degouey and urged him to use discretion. The student said Oates did not ask about any of the details regarding his encounters with Degouey, but expressed concern only about how it reflected on the reputation of St. Paul’s. Degouey left St. Paul’s in 1978 to work for the Buckley School in New York.

The Rev. Douglas Thomas Archibald Haviland: Haviland was a chaplain, teacher, and house master from 1947 to 1950. He died in 1971. He is accused of exposing himself to male students and touching and kissing them at night. A student rumored to have been molested by Haviland during late night “prayer sessions” was hazed by other male students in the dorm and later hung himself, according to a former student.

The Rev. Robert L. Zell: Zell was a teacher of sacred studies from 1951 to 1953. He was terminated in 1953. Zell is accused of touching a student’s leg inappropriately during a drive to Lake Winnipesaukee. Zell was accused of “irregularities of behavior of a very serious nature, namely homosexualism,” but his termination letter simply stated that his “churchmanship differed too sharply from that of St. Paul’s School.”

Former reverend Howard Willard “Howdy” White Jr.:

White was a chaplain and teacher of sacred studies at from 1967 to 1971, and was involved in the school’s theater group. On May 15, he pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in Boston. The sexual charges stemmed from his time at St. George’s School in Rhode Island. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He is accused of repeatedly raping a St. Paul’s student during a six-week summer trip when the student was 15.

Richard Hideki Okada: Okada was a teacher of Asian studies from 1981 to 1984. Okada taught Asian studies at Princeton from 1985 until his death in 2012. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with a female student. The student started going to Okada’s on-campus apartment with a “small group” of fellow students to listen to him play guitar, but eventually she began going alone. Their relationship progressed to the point where they were having sex “probably two times a week.”

Andre Oscar Hurtgen: Hurtgen was a French and Spanish teacher from 1960 to 1997 and was interviewed this year. He is accused of writing love letters to two female students. He denied writing to one student, but admitted to writing to another, saying it “was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” Hurtgen said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of the correspondence, which happened during a period of turmoil in his life. Hurtgen was eventually banned from campus.

Gregory “Gregor” DuBuclet: DuBuclet was a music and German teacher from 1980 to 1982. He currently resides in Germany and was interviewed this year. DuBuclet was accused to inappropriately touching two female students. DuBuclet denied the accusations, saying he was the subject of rumors because he was only a few years older than many of the students. He said he was known to hang out with students at their parties and drove them off campus to get pizza, but never had a relationship with any student.

Heather Ellen (Couch) Lloyd: Lloyd was the assistant director of admissions from 1979 to 1980. She was also an intern in the Advanced Studies Program during the summer of 1978.

She is accused of having a sexual relationship with a male student on campus. Lloyd and the student declined to be interviewed, but other witnesses said the relationship was out in the open and sexual in nature. A former faculty member said Lloyd had been “moved on” by St. Paul’s for having sex with male students. The male student told investigators he had nothing to report, adding it “makes it hard for an alum to ever want to donate again despite the schools trying to do the right thing, but only in response to things they always knew existed, yet looked the other way and now come to light decades later.”

Dr. Terrence M. Walsh: Walsh was a psychological counselor and teacher of human relations from 1974 to 1982. He died in December 1982. He married a former student from Japan in the spring of 1982 when she was 19. Their sexual relationship began at St. Paul’s when she was 17. While on sabbatical from St. Paul’s at the Seikei School in Tokyo, he announced his marriage to his former student and was fired by the new rector. That winter, Walsh died of an apparent heart attack, and his young wife committed suicide the same day, saying she couldn’t go on without him.

W. Douglas Renfroe: Renfroe was a music teacher from 1975 to 1976. He lives in Florida and declined to be interviewed. He married a former student after her graduation in 1976. Their relationship began at St. Paul’s during private one-on-one voice lessons. He quit the school after their marriage and later worked at Exeter High School before eventually moving to Beaufort, S.C. They divorced in 1982 after she caught him in an affair with another student.