A.G. says suspended Dartmouth professors investigated for ‘sexual misconduct’ 

  • ** FILE ** Students walk across the green at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., in this Sept. 30, 2003, file photo. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot/File) TOBY TALBOT

By Valley News
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has launched a criminal investigation regarding “allegations of sexual misconduct” related to three Dartmouth professors who were placed on paid leave last week.

Dartmouth College last week said the three psychology professors — Todd Heatherton, Bill Kelley and Paul Whalen — were put on paid leave and had their access to campus restricted as it investigates potential “serious misconduct,” but did not outline what it entailed.

The Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday said it has “learned from the college that it has received allegations of sexual misconduct” and has launched a joint criminal investigation with Hanover Police, New Hampshire State Police, and Grafton County authorities.

“Dartmouth is cooperating with law enforcement,” spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said in a news release on the college website. “From the outset of our investigations, we have encouraged the reporting of possible crimes to law enforcement and have offered resources to support that reporting.”

The release said that Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon emailed the college community about the criminal investigation this morning.

“It is important to remember that investigations are ongoing, with no official findings yet produced,” Hanlon wrote in the email. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and are pursuing our own independent investigations in coordination with law enforcement officials.

“I want to say in the most emphatic way possible that sexual misconduct and harassment are unacceptable and have no place at Dartmouth. Such acts harm us as individuals and as members of the community.”

Attorneys for Heatherton this afternoon released a statement saying he is cooperating with authorities.

“We have repeatedly reached out to Dartmouth to gain a better understanding of the investigation, and whether it relates to an out-of-state incident about which Dr. Heatherton was previously questioned. Darmouth has failed to respond. Dr. Heatherton is confident that he has not violated any written policy of Dartmouth, including policies relating to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. He has engaged in no sexual relations with any student,” the statement said, in part.

The Attorney General’s Office said anyone with information about the allegation should contact New Hampshire State Police Trooper Catherine Shackford at 603-419-8014 or catherine.shackford@dos.nh.gov, or Scott Gilbert, an investigator with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, at 603-931-9570 or scott.gilbert@doj.nh.gov.