Student Charged in Connection With Investigation Into St. Paul's School - NECN
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Student Charged in Connection With Investigation Into St. Paul's School

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    NH AG Announces Outcome of St Paul's Investigation

    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.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018)

    New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced Monday that a woman has been charged in connection with her appearance before the grand jury investigating the St. Paul's School.

    According to the attorney general's office, former St. Paul's student Stephanie A. O'Connell, 28, of Chicago has been charged with one count of false swearing and one count of conspiracy to commit false swearing.

    The charges allege that O'Connell made false statements concerning her contacts with former St. Paul's teacher Dr. David O. Pook, 48, of Warner, to the Merrimack County Grand Jury tasked with investigating the School.

    Last week, Pook was led out of a Concord courtroom in handcuffs. He allegedly conspired with O'Connell, his former student, to lie to the grand jury about their relationship. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

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    According to the Concord Monitor, Pook will spend four months in jail on misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit false swearing and criminal contempt of court. As part of a plea agreement, however, all felony charges were dropped.

    Pook taught at St. Paul's from 2000 to 2008 before he left under "questionable circumstances," authorities said.

    St. Paul's says Pook was let go following "a boundary violation with a student," but investigators say Pook and O'Connell had a sexual relationship that began years ago and continued as recently as his arrest, the Concord Monitor reported.

    State prosecuters maintain that contents of emails exchanged between Pook and O'Connell between February 2008 and October 2008 show an emerging relationship. They believe it led to Pook's quiet termination from St. Paul's, the Concord Monitor reported.

    O'Connell testified before a grand jury for seven hours on Dec. 6, denying under oath that she had any sexual contact with Pook as a student or since then.

    She also said that she had not been in contact with Pook since the summer of 2017. But authorities say cellphone records show multiple calls between the two in October, November and December.

    Pook was arrested in February.

    In court on Friday, he pleaded guilty to violating a court order and to telling O'Connell to lie under oath, but he insisted that allegations of a sexual relationship between the two are false.

    Last week, the attorney general announced that it would not press any charges against St. Paul's after conducting a 14-month investigation focused on whether the school engaged in conduct constituting endangering the welfare of a child and obstructive government operations.

    O'Connell will be arraigned at 3 p.m. on Oct. 1 in Merrimack County Superior Court.

    A plea and sentencing hearing has also been scheduled for the same day and time, the office said.

    According to the attorney general's office, the charges and allegations are merely accusations and O'Connell will be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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    It is unclear if she has an attorney.

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