New Hampshire

Prosecutor Explains Why No Charges Were Filed Against Phillips Exeter Leaders

The two deans were never charged and remain in their posts on campus.

Families in Exeter, New Hampshire have a lot of questions tonight, after reports that arrest warrants were written for two school leaders at Phillips Exeter Academy for allegedly failing to report sexual abuse on campus.

The two deans were never charged and remain in their posts on campus.

The Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway confirms, a New Hampshire State Trooper did file arrest warrants for two Phillips Exeter Academy Deans – alleging they broke the law by failing to report the alleged student on student sex assault in 2015.

She says charges were never filed because she found insufficient evidence.

“Ethically, as a prosecutor, I cannot charge someone with a crime unless I have a good faith basis to believe that we can prove the case without a reasonable doubt,” she explained in an interview Wednesday.

In the same incident, Academy leaders did take action against the campus minister, placing him on leave after he encouraged the alleged perpetrator to bake bread for his victim as an apology.

As for the deans, they’re still employed because the school says they’ve done nothing wrong. In a joint statement, the two deans in question, wrote in part, “Based on the information reported to us in October of 2015, we did not believe, in good faith, that a reportable offence had occurred. If we had, we would have reported it as we had always done and continue to do to this day.”

And for Rochelle Karakey whose son attends Phillips Exeter, she says that statement clarifies the situation and relieves any concerns she may’ve had.

“We are innocent until proven guilty,” she said.

Conway tells NBC Boston she led a training at the beginning of this school year to ensure all PEA faculty and staff members know their legal responsibility when it comes to reporting suspected abuse.

Contact Us