DA’s Office Investigating Claim of Child Abuse

February 22, 2012
By

Channel 5 News is shown conducting an interview with Superintendent Fred Foresteire about allegations of child abuse at the Keverian School. The superintendent said every effort was being made to aid the police in their investigation.

The Middlesex County District attorney’s office Child Abuse Unit is investigating an alleged incident at the Keverian School.

Two of the school’s custodians have been placed on administrative leave with pay as the investigation gets underway.

Presently, no charges have been filed against either of the custodians, neither of whom has been identified as the perpetrator by the alleged victim who is believed to be a first grade student.

“There is an identification issue,” said Jessica Pastore, the DA’s communications director.

However Pastore refused to detail that issue in any way.

“I cannot comment on the investigation except to say that the allegations made by a parent about his child are being fully investigated,” she added.

She said there was no timetable and that the investigation is the responsibility of the Child Abuse Unit.

Superintendent of Everett’s Schools Fred Foresteire said the School Department was taking the complaint very seriously.

“After being notified by Everett Police of the allegations I advised both custodians to leave the Keverian School and to have no further contact with the students. Their duties will be handled by other personnel and they will not be allowed back into any public school here or have contact in any way with our students until this is resolved,” Foresteire said.

Foresteire said parents can take comfort in knowing this single incident has not compromised the well-being of students throughout the Keverian School and the entire system.

“It is still safe for students to attend school functions at the Keverian School or any other public school in Everett during school vacation week and when school reopens,” he added.

The backgrounds of both custodians at the Keverian who have been placed on administrative leave had been previously checked. Both men have worked approximately 5 years for the public school system, according to Foresteire.

“Both had CORI reports run on them. Both men have unblemished records,” he added.

The Everett Police Department protocol in cases such as this one includes the initial interview of the victim or a relative appearing with the victim. A detective with special training in sexual assault takes the report and some determination of probable cause is made at that point before the report is sent to the District Attorney’s office,” according to Everett Police Lt. Paul Landry, the EPD’s public information officer.

He said a follow-up interview is done with interviewers specially trained and assigned to allegations of sexual assault. He said the follow-up interview is named the “SANE” interview, which stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

Lt. Landry said he did not know whether or not this incident had reached that point and he declined to comment on the specific case except to say, “It is an ongoing investigation. I do not comment on ongoing investigations,” he said.

He did, however, say that the object of each of these type investigations is to determine if the victim is in danger and to protect at the same time the rights of those being accused.

“One of goals is to make sure that the victim’s needs are cared for and that we don’t inadvertently do anything to compromise the suspect’s rights,” he added.

When the Sane interview takes place, the rules of the interview require the victim to be met with alone, even though the victim might have been accompanied by a parent.

He said the EPD will work closely with the DA’s office throughout the process until such time it has been determined that the suspect or suspects are put before a grand jury, arrested, indicted, or otherwise warned to stay away from the victim.

He said that if probable cause cannot be proven sufficiently, then the case is dropped.