Concord teacher Howie Leung held in isolation in Massachusetts jail

  • Concord Teacher Howie Leung appeared in court Wednesday, May 15 for a scheduled probable cause hearing on sexual assault charges in Newton District Court. Eileen O’Grady—Monitor correspondent

For the Monitor
Published: 5/15/2019 5:49:58 PM

Concord High School teacher Howie Leung is being held in isolation at the Middlesex Jail in Billerica, Mass., while he is unable to make the $50,000 cash bail for his release, according to court officials.

The defense attorney for Primo “Howie” Leung argued his bail was too high during a hearing Wednesday that was intended to go over the evidence supporting the charges in the rape case.

A judge set high cash bail for Leung on April 19 after prosecutors argued Leung was a “high flight risk” due to an abundance of personal wealth, connections abroad and a mother in Hong Kong who wires him money. Leung even gave $25,000 in cash to a Concord High School senior, telling her that cash was more difficult to trace and urging her to hide it somewhere in her bedroom, the district attorney told the judge.

On Wednesday, Ghazi Al-Marayati challenged that notion.

“The Commonwealth, at our last hearing, went to great pains to try and establish that he has extensive financial resources,” Al-Marayati said. “He has not.”

Al-Marayati said that Leung’s finances would only enable him to post a maximum of $5,000 for bail. He cited “issues” in Leung’s life, including mental health problems and complicated family dynamics that make it unlikely that Leung will skip bail.

Despite the argument, Judge Martine G. Carroll did not change the bail, which will remain at $50,000.

Middlesex Jail Public Information Officer Kevin Maccioli said the jail determines the housing status of prisoners to on a case-by-case basis. He said he couldn’t elaborate on Leung’s specific living conditions.

Leung is accused of sexually assaulting a Concord student repeatedly over a period of several years, both in Concord at Rundlett Middle School and at the Fessenden Summer ELL Program in Newton, Mass.

In Massachusetts, where much of the abuse is alleged to have occurred, Leung is charged with two counts of aggravated rape of a child, one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child over 14.

Leung was scheduled in Newton District Court for a probable cause hearing, which was ultimately rescheduled to June 10 because District Attorney Radu Brestyan had a conflict.

Al-Marayati objected to the request, but it was approved by Judge Carroll. The June hearing will be Leung’s fourth pre-trial court appearance since he was arrested.

During the hearing, Leung stood silently to one side of the courtroom. He was clad in a red Cape Cod sweatshirt and black and red pajama pants, his hands shackled in front of him.

Police in Concord have questioned why school officials waited so long to report the allegations to authorities. According to an agreement between the school district and the Concord Police Department, school officials must report all instances of possible sexual misconduct.

According to court documents in Massachusetts, the internal investigation of Leung by the Concord School District began in December 2018 after Leung was observed engaging in “inappropriate behavior” with a high school senior, who is a different student than the alleged victim. The school did not contact police and Leung remained at Concord High School for 3½ months after the initial complaint was made.

Through the course of the criminal investigation, police spoke to a former Concord student who said Leung sexually assaulted her when she was 13 and 14, both in Concord and at the Fessenden school in Newton.

Leung remains an employee of the Concord School District who is on paid administrative leave and a certified teacher in the State of New Hampshire.




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