More Phillips Exeter Academy Staffers Accused of Abuse

After a year-long outside investigation, the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire is revealing that five more former faculty members are accused of having inappropriate sexual relationships with students on campus.

That brings the total up to nine former employees.

One alleged victim tells NBC Boston that he believed this investigation has only scratched the surface.

“I wasn’t surprised. Disappointed maybe, but not surprised,” said Lawrence Jenkens over the phone on Friday.

Last year, Jenkens became one of the first Phillips Exeter Academy graduates to come forward, claiming he was sexually abused by a school leader.

Since then, an international law firm has been conducting an outside investigation, the results reveal the names of five more faculty members accused of sexual misconduct.

“That’s absolutely horrible,” said lifelong Exeter resident Thomas Clinton.

“When any kind of news breaks like that, I think it rattles everyone,” said another resident, Jessica Tiernan.

The investigation started last March after the school fired two teachers for admitting to having sexual relationships with their students.

The latest report uncovers credible allegations against four other former teachers and one former school psychologist.

When asked whether there could be more, Jenkens replied, “I would be surprised if there weren’t more.”

In a statement, the Board of Trustees President Nicie Panetta wrote, in part, “The Academy will be a stronger and more compassionate institution as a result, and future students for generations to come will be the beneficiaries of hard-won lessons.”

Community members hope they can now close the book on Exeter’s darkest chapter.

“The sooner it’s over, the better,” Tiernan said.

But Jenkens says this story is far from over.

“I think we are probably at the beginning of a painful process rather than at the end of it,” he said.

Police have charged Jenken’s alleged abuser, Arthur Peekel, with sex assault.

PEA leaders tell NBC Boston all of the information in that outside investigation has been turned over to police.

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