Decades-old school sex scandal becomes issue in N.H. Senate race

Decades-old school sex scandal becomes issue in N.H. Senate race

A decades-old sex scandal at Phillips Exeter Academy can potentially affect the balance of race for the U.S. Senate seat for which New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is challenging incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

The sex scandal involving former teacher Rick Schubart and students at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, but it was not made known to the public until last week.

Gov. Hassan’s husband Tom Hassan was the principal of the school when Schubart was first accused of sexual misconduct. As the school’s principal from 2009 to 2015, Mr. Hassan was informed of the teacher’s sexual misconduct. Schubart was forced to retire and move from his on-campus home in 2011.

Last year, Schubart was banned from entering the school’s campus after he confessed to a second allegation of sexual misconduct. But the public, including the students’ parents, was left in the dark.

Criticizing the Hassan couple, Ayotte said, “We should be focusing on what was the student body told and why wasn’t the student body fully informed. There are further questions that need to be answered. Governor Hassan has given a couple of different answers, so I think the information should be clarified.”

Both Gov. Hassan and her husband have apologized for their failure to inform the public about the sex scandal. In a recently aired interview, the governor also apologized for accepting a small election campaign contribution from Schubart and his wife in 2012.

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