AG to review new St. Paul’s report as part of ongoing criminal probe

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

Monitor staff
Friday, November 03, 2017

The state attorney general’s office will review a report detailing new allegations of sexual misconduct against former St. Paul’s School employees as part of its ongoing criminal investigation.

Associate Attorney General Jane Young said Thursday that the Concord prep school did not provide state prosecutors with a copy of a report about new allegations of sexual abuse prior to releasing it publicly Wednesday night.

The 30-page document is an addendum to a larger report released by the school in late May. Since the first report, school officials say an additional 15 victims have come forward to report allegations of sexual misconduct committed by former faculty and staff. The supplemental report names four employees for the first time. Further, it examines abuse as recent as 2009; whereas the initial report focused on the years between 1948 and 1988.

St. Paul’s commissioned Boston-based law firm Casner & Edwards, led by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, to produce both reports. The attorney general’s office cited the May report as part of its reason for launching a criminal investigation of the school. Prosecutors also cited the 2015 conviction of Owen Labrie, who was charged with sexually assaulting a freshman as part of a sexual conquest game known as the “Senior Salute.”

The investigation will focus on the school’s response to several reports of sexual misconduct and whether St. Paul’s endangered the welfare of children or broke a law that prohibits the obstruction of criminal investigations.

By phone Thursday, Young said it’s too early to say when the state-led probe could conclude.

“The investigation remains ongoing and is very active,” she said.

That investigation began four months ago. On the heels of the May report on faculty abuse, the actions of male students recording their relationships on a map and, more recently, a crown raised questions about a culture of sexual conquest at the school, even after the “Senior Salute.”

While the focus of an ongoing criminal probe, the school released the results of an internal investigation on the crown. St. Paul’s Rector Michael Hirschfeld said “five students were found to be in violation of the school’s prohibition of recording relationships,” but that the school found no evidence of competition. School officials declined to say why boys had recorded their relationships.

Wednesday marked the second time St. Paul’s has released information about sexual misconduct claims without consultation with the attorney general’s office. When asked Thursday if state prosecutors would prefer that the school not release such information while the criminal probe is pending, Young had no comment.

In total, the Boston law firm has substantiated sexual misconduct claims against 17 former faculty and staff members named in the two reports. Unsubstantiated claims have been made against more employees who the school chose not to name.

The supplemental report, released Wednesday, details a broad range of allegations, ranging from verbal sexual advances, to fondling, to rape.

One former student alleges that Coolidge Meed “Cal” Chapin, a longtime member of the St. Paul’s community, took him and another male student to a hotel in New York City to have sex with prostitutes. He also told investigators that Chapin made the male students take inappropriate photographs while undressed. Chapin is one several staff not named in the first report.

Also named in the supplemental report for the first time is Louis Anthony Grant Jr., a former history teacher and administrator at St. Paul’s School in the early 1970s. One former student recalled a time Grant pinned him to the floor and proceeded to make sexual advances, the report says. The two were at Grant’s on-campus apartment at the time.

The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence has commended St. Paul’s victims for coming forward and for helping shed light on such a serious crime.

“The impact of sexual violence is long-lasting and every survivor’s journey to healing is different,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, the coalition’s director of public affairs. “We are encouraged to see victims coming forward, in their own time and on their own terms, to seek help.”

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)