The police wanted to arrest prep school deans in sexual abuse case

EXETER, N. H. – the Police recommended two deans of an elite prep school be arrested for not properly report allegations a male student groped a female classmate, a state police report shows.

The November 2016 state police report, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, shows arrest warrants were being prepared for the Phillips Exeter Academy, Arthur J. Cosgrove and Melissa D. Mischke.

The school is between the different in New England that have been the focus of sexual-assault allegations.

Cosgrove and Mischke were accused of non-contact with the Department of Health and Human Services after a 17-year-old student told they will be attacked in 2015 by the 18-year-old Chukwudi Ikpeazu, great Park, Florida, in a school, church basement.

Prosecutors dropped sexual-assault against Ikpeazu in June. Ikpeazu’s attorney, Richard Samdperil, said at the time that he claimed to be innocent.

The warrants for the deans on misdemeanor charges of violating state reporting laws were given to the Rockingham County attorney’s office. The New York Times, which first reported the story , said the deans were not charged.

Rockingham County District Attorney Patricia Conway not return a call seeking comment. Nor the deans, nor a school spokeswoman returned e-mails seeking comment.

It is unclear why the deans were not charged, but the school reached with the police in September an agreement to say that defendant’s acts of sexual abuse of children to be reported to the police and to the state Division of Children, Youth, and Families.

The reaction of the two deans is likely to embolden critics who have long accused the school of abuse abuse cases. In this case, the school came under fire after the campus of the minister, the Rev. Robert Thompson, urged the 17-year-old to reconcile with Ikpeazu and asked him to do “penance” by taking her weekly batches of bread, which he baked and sold on campus.

Michael Whitfield Jones, an alumnus of New York, who has the awareness about the school in the handling of sexual abuse cases, said the two deans should “be removed.”

The concern about sexual abuse in Exeter were first raised following revelations in March 2016 about a former teacher Rick Schubart, who was forced to resign in 2011 after admitting sexual misconduct from the 1970s. Then, in April, another teacher was fired amid allegations he had a sexual encounter with a student decades ago.

Soon after, a former admissions officer gave himself up to the police over allegations that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old, who was visiting the school in 1973. In May, Arthur Peekel pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the case and is registered as a sex offender.

In those cases, the reason for the school to launch its own investigation, leading to a report in which it identified five former employees accused of abuse.

A law firm commissioned by the Phillips Exeter identified four teachers and a psychologist accused of sexually inappropriate behavior involving eight students from 1966 to 1980.

Three of the suspects have died. The other two were excluded from the campus.


This story is corrected to show the warrants were granted to Rockingham County, don’t Rock County.

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