Update: Concord High teacher accused of sexually assaulting local girl in Massachusetts 

  • Primo “Howie” Leung, 36, of Concord —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 4/4/2019 9:48:23 AM

A Concord High School teacher is accused of taking teenage girls from New Hampshire to a summer camp at a Massachusetts prep school, where he sexually assaulted one of them.

The investigation against Primo “Howie” Leung, 36, of Concord is ongoing in New Hampshire and police say they’re concerned there may be other victims.

Leung, who teaches special education at Concord High, was arrested Wednesday on a felony fugitive from justice charge. He will be extradited to Massachusetts to face charges of aggravated rape of a child, indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and indecent assault and battery on a child over the age of 14 in Newton District Court.

Concord police said one student recently disclosed for the first time to authorities that Leung had taken her to the Fessenden School’s summer program and sexually assaulted her in 2015 and 2016. That abuse began when she was a student at Rundlett Middle School, where Leung worked at the time.

“He would take students from up here in Concord to go down there to help with the program, and that is where some assaults did occur,” Concord police Lt. Sean Ford said after Leung’s arraignment Thursday.

Leung waived his arraignment on the fugitive from justice charge in Concord’s district court. A judge ordered him held without bail, but Concord defense attorney Jonathan Cohen reserved the right to revisit the bail issue if Leung is not extradited to Massachusetts within the next week.

“We don’t want that to be an indefinite detention,” Cohen told the court.

Before being taken to jail Wednesday, Leung had been involuntarily held at Concord Hospital following a suicide attempt on March 28, according to court documents. He learned of the criminal investigation on March 27, which is the day he was put on paid administrative leave by the school district.

Concord police executed search warrants that day at Leung’s home and at Concord High, where they analyzed computers, cellphones and paper records. Leung continued to work at the school for more than a month while police investigated the allegations.

The criminal investigation began in February after police were notified by the New Hampshire Department of Education that Leung was accused of having inappropriate contact with female students.

The department of education learned about the allegations from Concord School District Superintendent Terri Forsten that same month, Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in an email statement.

Forsten said in a letter to the school community Thursday that the district launched its own “extensive and thorough investigation” before notifying the state agency. She did not disclose any further details or respond to requests for additional comment, including when the accusations were first reported to school officials.

Concord police are working with the Middlesex County Attorney’s Office, Newton police and federal authorities as they continue to gather evidence in the case and conduct further interviews.

“Concord Police are continuing with the investigation and will continue working closely with Massachusetts authorities to determine the appropriate timing of any additional charges related to this State,” Ford said in a written statement.

In her letter, Forsten called the situation and pending criminal case against Leung “disturbing and disheartening.”

“These allegations are despicable and sickening and are certainly not representative of the culture or the community that we work so hard to surround our students with here in the Concord School District,” she said.

Leung has worked for the Concord School District for almost 13 years, according to school records. He is a University of New Hampshire graduate and earned certificates in special education and advanced graduate studies from Granite State College and Plymouth State University respectively.

At Concord High, Leung is the advisor of the Save Our Cold Kids (SOCK) club, which organizes volunteer projects to help aid homeless children and their families in the local community.

During the summers, Leung has worked at the Fessenden School’s Summer English Explorers (ELL) Program, an overnight boarding program in West Newton, Mass., for boys and girls ages 9 to 15. Leung started with the program in 1998 and is now its director, according to Fessenden’s website.

Forsten said counselors will be available throughout the school district in the coming days to help any students or families in need of additional support.

“Our greatest responsibility is and always will be, the safety, security, and well-being of our students,” Forsten wrote. “We hold every member of our community to the highest professional and personal standards, and any activities that compromise the core values of the Concord School District will not be tolerated.”

Police ask anyone with information to contact Lt. Ford at 230-3728, the Concord Regional Crimeline at 226-3100, or the Newton (Mass.) Police Department at 617-796-2121.

(Staff writer Leah Willingham contributed to this report. Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319 or at adandrea@cmonitor.com.)

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