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Former Concord teacher sentenced for soliciting sexual acts from student

  • CHS teacher Joshua Harwood was arrested Thursday on several charges, including prostitution involving a minor and possession of child sexual abuse images. Concord Police Department

  • Former Concord teacher Joshua Harwood is led into Merrimack County Superior Court before his plead agreement on two felony counts on Wednesday, September 21, 2021. Harwood will be sentenced next month. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 10/19/2021 1:03:02 PM

Former Concord High School teacher Joshua Harwood will be incarcerated for more than three years for soliciting sexual acts from a former student, a judge decided Tuesday.

Harwood, 38, who taught business classes at Concord High School for several months in 2020, pleaded guilty last month to a human trafficking charge and a charge of manufacturing child sex abuse images, both pertaining to explicit videos Harwood solicited from an underage Concord High student in exchange for money in 2019. 

In Merrimack Superior Court on Tuesday, Harwood was sentenced by Judge John Kissinger to three-and-a-half to seven years in New Hampshire State Prison for the human trafficking charge, which stems from a March 2019 incident where Harwood solicited a sexually-explicit live video session from an underage Concord High student in exchange for money.

For the manufacturing charge, which stems from an incident where he solicited a pre-recorded video from the minor, Harwood was given a sentence of seven-and-a-half to 15 years in prison, which has been fully suspended as long as he remains of good behavior. The suspended sentence will begin upon his release from his first prison sentence, and will last for 10 years. During the suspended sentence, Harwood will be banned from having contact with the victim, and from any unsupervised contact with boys under age 18. 

In addition to the three-and-a-half to seven years of incarceration, Harwood will undergo an assessment to determine whether he would benefit from the Sex Offender Program at the New Hampshire State Prison, or an outside treatment program. Upon successful completion of either program, Harwood’s sentence could be lessened by another seven months . 

Harwood was hired by the Concord School District in July 2020 and worked for five months teaching business classes, including Money Management, Economics, and Entrepreneurship.

Police were notified about allegations of inappropriate online activity and past physical activity in December 2020 when the victim reported the behavior to a school administrator. Harwood was placed on administrative leave and banned from school property at that time. 

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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