Lawsuit against St. Paul’s School is withdrawn
A federal lawsuit alleging that St. Paul’s School failed to protect a freshman student from sexual assaults has been voluntarily dismissed, according to court documents.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the student last May 11, alleged that the Concord, N.H., private school had a “hypersexualized culture” that contributed to the student, identified as Jane Doe, being forced to perform sex acts against her will and groped without consent.
It was withdrawn by the student’s lawyers on Jan. 7. The Concord Monitor first reported the dismissal of the suit Friday.
The case was brought in US District Court in Concord, N.H. The student, who lives in Maryland, attended the school in the 2012-2013 academic year. It was not immediately clear why the complaint was withdrawn. The plaintiff’s attorney, Charles G. Douglas III, of Concord, N.H., could not be reached Sunday.
A spokeswoman for St. Paul’s, Tenley Rooney, declined to comment on the case Sunday.
The school has come under fire in recent years for its response to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
In August, the school released a report detailing decades of misconduct by staff, just days after a former teacher was sentenced to jail for conspiring with a former student to lie to a grand jury about abuse there.
Weeks later, facing the threat of criminal proceedings, the school agreed to put the New Hampshire attorney general’s office in charge of handling reports of possible child abuse on campus.
In 2015, a former St. Paul’s student, Owen Labrie, was acquitted of raping a 15-year-old freshman, but he was found guilty on lesser sexual assault charges. His conviction was upheld in November, and he is behind bars at the Merrimack County correctional facility in Boscawen, N.H.
His accuser, Chessy Prout, became a prominent advocate for victims of sexual assault, and wrote a book with Jenn Abelson, a former Boston Globe reporter, about her experiences. The school announced in January 2018 that it settled a lawsuit filed by Prout’s parents.