The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office on Thursday announced the outcome of its year-long investigation into allegations of sexual assaults at St. Paul’s School and said there will be no charges brought against the institution.
Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said the 14-month investigation focused on whether the school engaged in conduct constituting endangering the welfare of a child and obstructive government operations.
"This investigation was a very significant undertaking. By necessity, it involved increments and us taking it piece by piece," MacDonald said.
In the course of the investigation, MacDonald said thousands of pages of documents were inspected by his office and a grand jury. Numerous witnesses were also interviewed.
As a result of the investigation, the attorney general had the intention to seek indictments against the school but decided to resolve the matter without a criminal proceeding based on the New Hampshire child endangerment statute.
MacDonald said there will be no prosecution of St. Paul's School on the handling of the alleged abuse and instead, his office has signed a compliance agreement with the school to ensure comprehensive reform going forward.
"The agreement will assure a system of accountability, transparency, and oversight by this office," MacDonald said.
On the same day, a lawyer for a New Hampshire prep school graduate convicted in 2015 of sexually assaulting a classmate is arguing that his conviction for using a computer to lure the girl for sex should be tossed out because prosecutors failed to prove that was his intention.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday on Owen Labrie's appeal of his conviction after a lower court judge denied his request for a new trial.
The 22-year-old Tunbridge, Vermont, man was acquitted of raping a 15-year-old classmate in 2014 as part of a game of sexual conquest at St. Paul's School in Concord. He was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault and child endangerment, as well as the computer charge, a felony requiring him to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors told the court Labrie's intentions were clear.