Sexual Assault

Sam Evans-Brown

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas is suing a former alderman and a critic, saying he was defamed by their accusations that he covered up a sexual assault at a high school.

The lawsuit in Hillsborough County Superior Court targets former Alderman William Cashin and critic Jon Hopwood, who wrote to aldermen accusing Gatsas of "engineering a cover-up."

WMUR reports that the lawsuit says the men "knowingly made false allegations."

Eddie Cheuk

New Hampshire's Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recently announced a criminal investigation into sexual assault allegations at St. Paul's School, in Concord. We discussed recent local stories involving private schools such as St. Paul's, as well as the broader culture in elite boarding schools that may contribute to this issue.  And we talked with a N.H. lawmaker who says she'll be working on changing laws to better protect victims of sexual violence.  


Amanda Loder, StateImpact New Hampshire

Laurie Laizure of Manchester likes to think she’s the kind of parent who’s engaged in what’s happening at her kids' schools.

Which is why she was so surprised to learn, when scrolling through Facebook last month, about a sexual assault that took place at Manchester West High School. In 2015, a 14-year-old student — a classmate of Laizure's daughter — was raped by an older student in a secluded hallway during school hours.

Eddie Cheuk

The attorney general’s office made waves Thursday night in announcing its plans to launch a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School over its handling of sexual assaults on school grounds.

While the investigation is still just in its beginning stages, some are already starting to draw parallels to a time when the state took on another powerful institution over its handling of sexual abuse: the Catholic Church.

Eddie Cheuk

Police in New Hampshire are investigating reports of a sexual assault at a prep school with a history of sexual misconduct allegations.

Concord police say they opened an investigation at St. Paul's School on June 1 after a female student told a staff member she had been assaulted by another student. The Concord Monitor reports the police investigation remains open as of Wednesday.

Manchester school leaders and city officials are working on a policy that will spell out how information about crime and safety incidents is disseminated to parents and citizens.

This follows concerns over how information about a rape in one of the city’s high schools nearly two years ago was kept quiet until last week, when the perpetrator was sentenced to jail.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Two laws signed by Governor Sununu on Wednesday will limit certain legal arguments in sex crime cases.

Beginning January 1 of next year, a defendant can no longer argue in court that he or she did not know the age of a prostitution or human trafficking victim.

Additionally, Sununu signed a high profile bill strengthening the state’s so-called “rape shield” law. He explained the change would “ensure that the private and unrelated sexual history of sexual assault victims will not be used against them in any court proceeding.”

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 26, 2017

May 25, 2017

Senate Republicans are confident their state budget plan will clear the full Senate. A  full-day kindergarten proposal is tied to the lottery game KENO.  St. Paul’s School releases a report detailing allegations of sexual assault by faculty and staff decades ago. And Fish & Game Officials are flooded with calls to save trouble-making bears in Hanover.


St. Paul's School

An investigation into sexual misconduct at St. Paul’s School in Concord has found substantiated claims of abuse involving 13 former faculty and staff. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Cambridge attorney Eric MacLeish, who has experience litigating against institutions accused of sexually abusing children, and has been in touch with three alleged victims of sexual misconduct by St. Paul’s faculty and staff.

Eddie Cheuk

A revered debate coach and one-time head of the Advanced Studies Program who groped and exposed himself to multiple female students.

A history teacher and cross-country coach who sexually assaulted, massaged and propositioned multiple male students. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Hundreds of people came to the State House Tuesday to advise Senate budget writers on how to craft New Hampshire’s next two year spending plan.

Allegra Boverman

  Gov. Chris Sununu wants lawmakers in the New Hampshire house to get behind a bill strengthening New Hampshire's rape shield law.

The legislation is also backed by the family of Lizzi Marriott, the UNH student murdered 5 years ago by Seth Mazzaglia.

This bill springs from the legal strategy of Seth Mazzaglia’s defense team,  which sought to introduce evidence about Marriott’s sexual past during Mazzaglia’s murder trial.

The state’s highest court initially suggested that lMazzagia might be able to use such evidence during his appeal, before ruling it inadmissible.

Creative Commons

A former New Hampshire state representative is suing her English teacher at Phillips Academy Andover for sexually assaulting her when she was 15.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Congresswoman Annie Kuster has been in New Hampshire this week, spreading awareness around sexual violence. Her last stop is Friday in Pelham.

Allegra Boverman

 

  New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster is joining a teen who was sexually assaulted at a prestigious prep school in 2014 for a discussion on how to address sexual violence.

Kuster, a Democrat, also is launching a congressional Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. The events are taking place at the University of New Hampshire School of Law on Monday night.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The sponsors of a bill requiring corroboration for sexual assault cases in New Hampshire have pulled their support for the proposal.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers heard hours of testimony Tuesday on a bill that would require corroborating evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

Daniel S. Hurd

 

Fierce debate is expected over a bill that would require sexual assault victims to corroborate their testimony if the defendant has no prior related convictions.

Lawmakers will hold a hearing Tuesday on the bill. Existing law doesn't require a victim to corroborate their testimony. Another bill before the committee would change the word "victim" to "complainant" in the sexual assault statute.

Domestic violence advocacy groups oppose both bills. Prosecutors, police and victims are expected to testify against the bill.

A former Episcopal priest who worked at several elite boarding schools has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 1973 in Boston.

The Boston Globe reports that Howard "Howdy" White pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court after being indicted on five counts of assault and battery. White, of Bedford, Pennsylvania, was freed on personal recognizance.

Prosecutors say White assaulted the boy during two overnight trips to Boston, when he worked at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Allegra Boverman

 

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster doesn't doubt that Donald Trump used his fame to force himself on women with neither consent nor consequences. She says she experienced just that with a celebrity surgeon who assaulted her decades ago when she was a young staffer on Capitol Hill.

Facebook

The New Hampshire Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence is arguing that the victim’s private records in the murder and rape case involving UNH student Lizzi Marriott should remain sealed throughout the appeal process. 

New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann Kuster was in Concord Tuesday to talk about sexual assault and how colleges and universities can prevent such incidents in the future. 

Lois R. Shea / NH Cheritable Foundation

The University of New Hampshire is working on a new app that's designed to help survivors of sexual assault, set to launch in the fall. Called “uSafeNH,” the app will provides information on local crisis centers, hospitals, police and other resources.

  New Hampshire US Senator Kelly Ayotte is using the University of New Hampshire as a model for giving the public more information about sexual assaults on college campuses. 

MattBritt00 via Flickr Creative Commons

Dartmouth College has released the results of a major survey which finds that more than 1 in 4 female undergraduates at the school have been victims of some sort of unwanted sexual encounter.

Courtesy of St. Paul's School's Website

At St. Paul's School, dorms are full again and on afternoons you can see students walking across the Concord campus dressed for practice as they gear up for the fall athletic season. It looks like a typical start to a new school year, but the first weeks of classes come not quite a month after high profile trial put St Paul's School front and center in the national media.


aciamax / Flickr/CC

After this summer’s rape trial ended in conviction of a former St. Paul’s student on several counts, many educators and parents are taking stock of teachable moments: do teenagers understand the concept of consent, how does media influence their thinking, how can they protect themselves and others. We’ll look at how well we prepare our youth for these situations.

GUESTS:

Giving Matters: Healing Victims of Domestic Violence

Jun 27, 2015

Bridges Domestic and Sexual Violence Support provides free services to victims of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, harassment and stalking. Emily called Bridges when she and her daughter Brianna needed help.  

“A few years back I found out that my children were being sexually assaulted by my husband at the time.” Emily was stunned, “as a mom you feel so guilty, how could I not know, I brought this man into their lives, I thought he was a good person and now I find out all this.”

 

www.visitnhcolleges.com

 

New Hampshire's public colleges and universities are making changes after a recent review highlighted concerns about how they handle sexual harassment and other misconduct.

The University System of New Hampshire last month released investigative reports on the general policies and procedures at its four institutions as well as specific incidents involving misconduct by athletic coaches.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

Lawyers who reviewed how New Hampshire's public universities and colleges handle sexual harassment and other misconduct say the schools must address specific gaps in policies and practices while also making broader efforts to create a safe campus culture.

University System of New Hampshire officials asked attorneys at a Manchester law firm to review their procedures in general and their handling of four incidents in particular — three involving misconduct by coaches at Keene State College and one involving a University of New Hampshire basketball coach.

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