Report: Misconduct ranged from repeated sexual relationships to rape at NH private school
CONCORD — Sexual misconduct allegations against 13 former faculty and staff members at St. Paul's School in Concord ranged from repeated sexual relationships to rape, according to a report released Monday.
Boston law firm Casner & Edwards LLP conducted an independent investigation into cases of sexual misconduct against 34 former and current faculty and staff members, releasing their findings to the public Monday morning. The school substantiated 13 of those allegations.
The school previously conducted an investigation into reported sexual misconduct in 2000 using Ropes & Gray LLP but said the investigation "was a legitimate concern" due to the limited nature and reporting of it.
"I didn't get the sense in 2000 that the school cared about anything but covering their backside," a student told Casner & Edwards LLP.
In January and April 2016, while conducting an investigation against a former teacher accused of sexual assault at another private school, Rector Michael Hirschfield invited and encouraged alumni to report on their own experiences with, or knowledge of, faculty and staff who may have been engaged in inappropriate behavior and/or sexual misconduct. This resulted in an investigation that expanded beyond just one former faculty member.
"As our report demonstrates, based on our interviews and investigation, we were able to substantiate a range of credible and very disturbing historical information about the conduct of certain faculty and staff at SPS. Put simply but starkly, several former faculty and staff sexually abused children in their care in a variety of ways, from clear boundary violations to repeated sexual relationships to rape," the report read.
Former Rev. Howard Willard "Howdy" White Jr.
White was a chaplain and teacher of sacred studies from 1967-71, where he also was involved in the school's Master Players theater group. White lived in an on-campus apartment, as the assistant house master.
Following a series of Boston Globe articles regarding the investigation of sexual abuse involving White at St. George's School in Rhode Island, Hirschfeld wrote to alumni on Jan. 7, 2016, about White's time at St. Paul's. At that time, St. Paul's had not identified any records involving misconduct committed by White at the school. This letter led to four alumni from 1969 to 1973, reporting misconduct from various former faculty and staff members at the school, including White.
One male alumnus called White a "predatory individual" saying that White "molested" a friend of his while at St. Paul's, the report reads.
White repeatedly sexually abused and raped a 15-year-old student while on a six-week summer trip, the report read.
St. Paul's reported White to the Concord Police Department in August 2016, according to the report.
White is alive, and on May 15, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges that stemmed from his time at St. George's before being terminated in 1974. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Dr. Terrence M. Walsh, Ph.D.
Walsh was a psychological counselor and teacher of human relations from 1974-82.
Walsh married a student in Tokyo, Japan, in the spring of 1982 after having a relationship with the student for about two years, starting when the student was 17, the report read. At the time of the marriage, Walsh was 47 and the student was 19.
While on sabbatical from St. Paul's at the Seikei School in Tokyo, Walsh announced his marriage to the student who was currently going to college in Tokyo. A new Rector, the Rev. Charles H. Clark, terminated Walsh's employment at St. Paul's on Oct. 7, 1982.
Walsh suffered a heart attack on Dec. 4, 1982, at the age of 48, leading to his death in Tokyo. One the same day, the student committed suicide leaving a note "declaring she could not go on living without Terry," the report read.
W. Douglas Renfroe
Renfroe taught music from 1975-76.
A student acknowledged her former marriage to Renfroe following a relationship that began when she was a student at St. Paul's, according to the report.
The student allegedly said she could trust Renfroe, who currently had a wife, as her parents went through a "nasty" divorce.
The two had sex in the music practice rooms on campus as well as in Renfroe's off-campus home when his wife was not around, the report read.
"'Their relationship was inappropriate while she was at St. Paul's.' Student 20 recalled it being 'obvious' because they were 'physical' with each other on-campus in public view," a witness told investigators in the report.
After the student graduated from St. Paul's, he told the student he was leaving his wife and proposed to the student. They married in August 1976.
Renfroe quit his job after the student graduated, taking a music teacher job at Exeter High School, according to the report.
The couple then moved to South Carolina with their infant daughter, where the former student gave birth to twins.
He took a teaching job in the state, where the former student eventually caught Renfroe in a sexual relationship with one of his students, the report read. They divorced in 1982.
"To this day, Student 63 is upset with the fact that Mr. Renfroe continued his career as an educator after having multiple sexual relationships with his students," the report read.
Renfroe currently lives in Fort Myers, Fla., where he is a music director.
Edward Lawrence "Larry" Katzenbach III
Katzenbach taught English and history at St. Paul's from 1971-95, where he also was also the school's debate coach, student council faculty adviser, and at one time, head of the school's advanced studies program. As a faculty member, he lived in dormitory apartments on campus, at times with his wife Marion Elizabeth "Betsy" and his daughter, referred to as Student 14.
Based on victim and witness accounts, Casner & Edwards LLP determined that Katzenbach committed 10 acts of sexual misconduct including having sex with a female student, exposing his penis to two female students in his dormitory apartment and imitating the sounds of oral sex during classroom instruction, the report read.
Former female students also accused Katzenbach of asking them to go away with him for a weekend, according to the report. One student reportedly said, "he wanted to go somewhere where no one would know where we are."
Katzenbach allegedly took at least one student away for a weekend, where they reportedly spent the time having sex together. After telling this to another student, he said to her, "So let me know what weekend works best for you," the report read.
"Larry's behavior was consistently awful and reported on, yet he remained revered by the St. Paul's community," a former faculty member, administrator and coach told investigators.
The school never terminated Katzenbach based on allegeations of sexual misconduct made against him, but instead he resigned from the school due to his ailing health, the report read.
Katzenbach died on Aug. 12, 1997, at the age of 53.
Jose A.G. "Senor" Ordonez
Ordonez taught history from 1952-87, where he also served as the school's cross county coach and later its archivist during his retirement from 1987 to 2001. He lived in an apartment on campus called Center Upper.
Ropes & Gray, LLP, which conducted an investigation in 2000 regarding the misconduct of faculty and staff members, said that Ordonez had essentially admitted during an interview to all allegations made by 37 1975 alumni, referred to as The Group. He acknowledged that "he engaged in 'romantic kissing, hugging and genital touching (through clothing) with students on numerous occasions during his career at (SPS),' and that he 'engaged in far more explicit sexual behavior with multiple students over prolonged periods of time during the 1980s,'" according to the report.
Following this finding, St. Paul's banned Ordonez from participating in school activities, terminated him as an employee, as he was currently acting as the school's archivist, and required him to vacate his nearby condominium that was paid for by a fund created specifically for Ordonez by St. Paul's alumni, the report reads. The school decided to fund a lifetime annuity intended to provide him with sufficient cash for room and board in Miami, the report added.
Ropes & Gray LLP reportedly provided the Concord Police Department with specific descriptions of Ordonez's alleged misconduct on Dec. 4, 2000, stating that the accounts did not meet the definition of felonious sexual assault as no one reported personal injuries.
In the most recent investigation, Casner & Edwards LLP found that Ordonez committed seven acts of sexual misconduct including touching a male student's genitals while he touched his own genitals and kneeing a male student in the groin and kicking him in the buttocks in a state of anger.
One student told investigators that he and Ordonez had a four-month-long relationship, which he described as a "very horrible secret," the report read. Another called him a "drunken Cuban" who "was terrible to boys," after Ordonez allegedly tried to seduce him.
Ordonez died on Feb. 26, 2008.
Steven David Ball
Ball taught English from 1963-99.
Ropes & Gray LLP said their investigation in 2000 substantiated a student's claim that Ball had sexual relations with him in 1974 when the student was 15 years old.
The student claimed that the two had oral sex, as well as "masturbated each other," the report read.
Ball reportedly denied these claims but allegedly gave inconsistent reports to the firm.
The firm suggested that the school write a letter to Ball denouncing his behavior, get rid of his faculty emeritus status and bar him from all school-related functions.
The Rector at the time, the Rev. Craig B. Anderson, said the student's claim of sexual abuse by Ball could not be "conclusively credited" despite the findings of Ropes & Gray LLP.
The firm said it reported this sexual assault to the Concord Police Department on Nov. 1, 2000.
Investigators believe Ball is alive and currently residing in France, according to the report.
Robert Maurice Degouey
Degouey taught French from 1967-78, while living on campus.
Ropes & Gray found substantial and credible evidence that Degouey had engaged in about 50 episodes of oral sex with the same student that Ball had sexual relations with during the fall of 1973 when the student was 14 years old.
Degouey was deceased at the time of the report, so no further action was taken. The firm did, however, report the incident to the Concord Police Department on Nov. 1, 2000.
The student said he and Degouey had a two to three month consensual sexual relationship, that "consisted primarily of oral sex," the report read.
Degouey left St. Paul's in the spring of 1978.
The Rev. Douglass Thomas Archibald Haviland
Haviland was a chaplain, teacher and house master in the lower school at St. Paul's from 1947-50.
The school terminated his position in May 1950 after two male students told then-Rector Henry C. Kittredge that Haviland touched their private parts on several occasions, the report read. Haviland allegedly admitted to doing so.
In a letter sent on May 5, 1950, to parents of students living in Haviland's first-year dorm, Kittredge informed them about the dismissal of Haviland because of "homo-sexual advances towards certain of the (sic) boys under him."
As part of the investigation in 2000, one student wrote that another student who lived in Haviland's dorm had committed suicide in 1949 after being hazed by other male students about being molested by Haviland to the point where he hung himself, according to the report. Haviland regularly gave massages to the student and would take him to his room for late night "prayer sessions," the report added.
Haviland died on July 5, 1971, at the age of 58.
The Rev. Robert L. Zell
Zell taught sacred studies from 1951-53, before the school terminated his position in September of 1953.
Zell's file indicated that he had been accused of "irregularities of behavior of a very serious nature, namely homosexualism," the report read.
A student accused Zell of stroking his thigh as he drove him and other students to a stock car race on the ice of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Richard Hideki Okada
Okada taught Asian studies from 1981-84 and lived in an apartment above the Hargate Fine Arts Center.
A student told investigators that she and Okada had a sexual relationship, at one point having sex two times a week for two months in 1982, according to the report.
Okada allegedly wanted to marry the student and would often write her letters after she graduated, the report added.
Okada died on April 4, 2012, at the age of 66.
Andre Oscar Hurtgen
Hurtgen taught French and Spanish from 1960-97, where he served as a house master for one of the on-campus dorms from 1965-69.
The same student who allegedly had a sexual relationship with Okada also received love letters from Hurtgen after she graduated, the report read.
"Hurtegan wrote that he wanted to see (the student) 'in a kimono wearing red lipstick,'" the report added.
The student's father allegedly talked to a St. Paul's representative, which caused the love letters to stop.
Hurtegan told investigators that he never communicated with this student by letter or otherwise after she graduated, but did say he wrote love letters to a different student during a time of "complete turmoil," according to the report.
St. Paul's subsequently banned Hurtgen from campus after that student filed a demand against the school.
Gregory "Greg" DuBuclet
DuBuclet taught music and German from 1980-82.
A student accused him of sexually assaulting her on two separate occasions.
The first occurred in the spring of 1979 when DeBuclet allegedly fondled her.
A second incident happened when DuBuclet told her to get into his car late at night when the student was out past curfew. She agreed to get in the car because she thought she was in trouble, the report reads. DuBuclet allegedly rubbed her inner thigh and then tried to stick his hand down her pants before she exited the vehicle.
Another student accused DuBuclet of a similar incident where he allegedly tried putting his hand up her skirt as they drove around New Hampshire and Maine looking for costumes and scenery for an upcoming play.
"She recalled Mr. DuBuclet saying, 'come on ... I have driven you all over the place ... You should let me do this,'" the report said.
DuBuclet reportedly denied the allegations to investigators, saying he never had any female students alone in his car.
DuBuclet left St. Paul's in 1982 due to a disagreement with the music teacher and department head regarding DuBuclet's teaching style, the report read. He currently resides in Berlin, Germany, where he is a professional musician and composer.
Heather Ellen (Couch) Lloyd
Lloyd was the Assistant Director of Admissions and a group master in Alumni House from 1979-80. She also interned in the Advance Studies Program during the summer of 1978.
Three alumni reported a sexual relationship between Lloyd and another student, who said he had nothing to report when investigators reached out to him.
"The schools trying to do the right thing, but only in response to things they always knew existed, yet looked the other way and now come to light decades later," the student allegedly wrote in an email to investigators.
An administrator said when he arrived at the school in 1982, Lloyd had been recently removed from St. Paul's for engaging in "regular sex" with male students, the report read.
Lloyd currently resides in an assisted living facility, according to the report.
The full St. Paul's report can be read here.
The school's letter of apology can be read here.