New Hampshire

Former St. Paul's School Student Accused of 1970s Campus Sex Assaults

Benjamin Baker, 61, of Falls Church, Virginia, was charged with being a fugitive after Concord police issued an arrest warrant charging him with a dozen sex crimes

A graduate of St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, has been arrested in Virginia and is now facing several sexual assault charges in the Granite State.

Concord Police say the case dates back to the 1970s. The alleged victims came forward in 2017.

After an investigation that lasted a year and a half, they got a call Monday from detectives who told them their alleged attacker was finally behind bars.

"Back in the 70s, this was dealt with in a very different way," said Lt. Sean Ford. "This was never reported to law enforcement and never reported to the school."

Police say 61-year-old Benjamin Baker was a St. Paul's School student when he allegedly sexually assaulted two young kids who were the children of a St. Paul's employee at the time.

"Oftentimes, students stay with employees and families and that's how Mr. Baker came to have a relationship with these kids in a deviant way," Ford explained.

He says Baker continued assaulting the children even after he graduated, when he'd come back to visit campus.

The two victims came forward in June of 2017, telling St. Paul's School leaders who went straight to police.

"These two brave people, and I say 'brave' because they came forward and talked about a lot of bad things that happened to them, allegedly by Mr. Baker," Lt. Ford said.

He says because Baker moved out of state shortly after the alleged crimes, the clock on the 20-year state statute of limitations stopped ticking.

Baker was arrested Monday morning at his home in Virginia and is facing 12 different charges of sex assault, including five counts of felony rape.

"The allegations are disturbing. It's tragic what he is alleged to have done to these victims," Ford said. "We hope this process can give them some kind of closure and bring justice for them and their families."

As NBC10 Boston has reported, St. Paul's School has come under fire in recent years for mishandling sex abuse cases dating back to the 1940s. But Concord Police make it clear this case is different. The school was never aware of this alleged abuse until the victims came forward in 2017. Ford says school leaders turned the information over to police right away.

"A complaint was brought forward to the School in June 2017 and was reported immediately to the Concord Police Department. That investigation culminated in an arrest. St. Paul's School will continue to assist law enforcement with their prosecution," the school said in a statement.

Baker will be arraigned on a felony from justice charge in Virginia on Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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