Former St. Paul’s student is charged with making false statements to grand jury
A Chicago woman has been charged with making false statements about her contact with a former St. Paul’s School teacher to a grand jury investigating abuse at the school, according to the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.
Stephanie A. O’Connell, 28, has been charged with one count of false swearing and one count of conspiracy to commit false swearing, the attorney general’s office announced Monday. Both counts are misdemeanors.
Authorities say she made false statements about David O. Pook to the Merrimack County grand jury that was tasked with probing St. Paul’s, an elite boarding school in Concord, N.H.
O’Connell is now scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 1 in the Merrimack County Superior Court.
Pook, who worked at the school as a humanities teacher, crew and basketball coach, and house master from 2000 to 2008, was sentenced to jail last month for conspiring with O’Connell to lie to a grand jury, according to authorities.
Pook, who helped to develop the national Common Core standards that are part of the Massachusetts statewide curriculum, was arrested in February during a grand jury investigation into misconduct at St. Paul’s. Investigators alleged that he had a sexual relationship with O’Connell, a former St. Paul’s student, and communicated with her about her testimony, authorities said.
Pook pleaded guilty to witness tampering and contempt of court on Aug. 17 and was sentenced to four months behind bars.
His lawyer said his client takes responsibility for the crimes but said there is no evidence of a sexual relationship.
Last week, St. Paul’s, facing the threat of criminal proceedings over allegations that it failed to protect students from sexual abuse, agreed to put the New Hampshire attorney general’s office in control of handling reports of possible child abuse on campus.