Ex-teacher accused of sexually abusing prep school student
EXETER, N.H. (AP) — A former math teacher at a prestigious New Hampshire prep school was arrested Monday after he was accused of sexually assaulting a student numerous times over several years.
Szczesny Kaminski, 58, is accused of assaulting the unidentified student who lived at Phillips Exeter Academy between 2013 and 2015. He has been charged with three counts of pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault and three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault. Kaminski is being held on prevention detention and a bail hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the Brentwood Circuit Court.
Exeter is one of several prep schools in New England that have recently been rocked by sexual misconduct claims going back decades, mostly involving former staffers. The claims have resulted in reports finding abuse going back decades, lawsuits by former students and criminal charges against faculty.
The problem came to light at Exeter in 2016, when it became public that a teacher had been forced to resign several years earlier after admitting to sexual misconduct with students as far back as the 1970s. Revelations of misconduct by other teachers followed in quick succession, and an investigation by a law firm in 2018 examined 28 allegations — 26 in which students accused faculty of sexual misconduct and two that maintained staff failed to respond appropriately.
The school has committed to a series of reforms and said it fired Kaminski earlier this year after learning about the allegations against him. It first investigated Kaminski in 2016 but said new information came to light this year regarding “newly discovered boundary violations.” The school held off on publicizing his firing at the request of the Exeter police so it could investigate more serious charges.
“We know that the impact of sexual abuse is especially traumatic when a student is harmed by an adult whom they had every reason to believe they could trust,” the school’s principal, William Rawson, said in a letter sent to the school community Monday. “We recognize and regret the secondary harm this communication will cause for some of our community members, but it is important that our community is aware of this development.”
A number for Kaminski was disconnected. His lawyer Amy Spencer said she was hopeful the judge would release her client Tuesday. “We look forward to defending the case vigorously,” she said.