One of the nation’s most exclusive prep schools – whose graduates include both former Secretary of State John F. Kerry and the new Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller – has just issued a scandalous, astonishingly-detailed 73-page report outlining four decades of X-rated sexual abuse of students by faculty and administrators.
St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, this week named 13 former faculty and staffers and also listed, without naming them, more than a dozen other former teachers and staffers who allegedly assaulted and raped various male and female students between 1948 and 1988.
The report was signed by Luther Scott Harshbarger, a former attorney general of Massachusetts, and was commissioned by the school’s board of trustees, whose chairman is Archibald Cox. Cox’s father was the late Watergate special counsel who was fired by then-President Richard Nixon in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre of 1973. Both Coxs are graduates of the school.
Other famous Democrats who have graduated from the posh school with Episcopal roots include Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and the late Michael Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy. Jr. Kennedy was accused of having an affair with his family’s 14-year-old babysitter before dying by skiing into a tree in Aspen in 1997. Other famous St. Paul’s alumni include former NYC Mayor John V. Lindsay and the late TV actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
The late U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA), the first openly homosexual member of Congress, taught at the school for years before abruptly resigning from the faculty in the early 1970s. A decade later Studds was censured by Congress for having an affair with a 17-year-old male page after plying him with vodka and cranberry juice while on a foreign trip.
Two years ago, a 2014 graduate of the elite prep school was convicted of sexually assaulting a then 15-year-old female student. Owen Labrie’s appeal for a new trial was recently denied.
Other exclusive New England prep schools have in recent years admitted to decades of hushed-up sex scandals, including the Choate School in Wallingford, CT, from which President John F. Kennedy graduated. Last year, Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH, was roiled by a sex scandal involving a former English teacher that came to light after the resignation of the headmaster, who was married to then-Gov., now Sen. Maggie Hasson.
But the new St. Paul’s report dwarfs all of the earlier accounts in its volume of detail, which includes accounts from dozens of former students, who are often quoted as describing the school as either “strange,” “creepy” or “very creepy.”
One of the creepiest teachers was “Larry” Katzenbach, who died in 1997. He too had ties to national Democrats – his uncle was Nicholas Katzenbach, attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1975, one SPS alumna identified as Student 24 reported, Katzenbach “pulled his pants down around his ankles, faced Student 24, and with his penis in his hand said, ‘Touch it… touch it…. Just touch it.’”
Another student recalled, how Katzenbach, an English teacher, one day in class began reading a poem “about oral sex… even ‘slurping’ and making ‘gross sounds’ which, according to Student 34, made everyone in the classroom ‘uncomfortable.’”
According to the report, two male SPS faculty members married their female charges shortly after graduation. One former female student committed suicide the same day her 47-year-old former teacher died of a heart attack in Tokyo. Another former student gave birth to twins, but later divorced her husband and former teacher after discovering him having “sexual relationship with one of his students” at the school he and his new family had relocated to.
Some female St. Paul’s faculty also preyed on underage males. One former student said that the age of 14, he sought out tutoring from a young woman teacher at her apartment and that when he arrived, “she sat on the floor in her very short nightgown and showed me that she clearly had no underwear on.”
Nothing happened, and the teacher admitted to investigators that she sometimes met students while in her pajamas, saying “I’m not going to stay in my work clothes all night.”
A homosexual faculty member named in the table of contents was “Jose ‘Senor’ Ordonez.” But in the text, he is referred to by a different nickname – “Gay Jose.” Another homosexual predator listed in the report was described only as “Faculty 22,” who despite working at St. Paul’s for 45 year had “no clear title.”
According to St. Paul’s, Faculty 22 apparently molested multiple generations of the school’s upper-class males. One younger alumnus told his family at a Thanksgiving dinner about his experiences with 22 and “the table went silent and then my father… said, ‘That’s okay, I had the same experience.’”
Faculty 22 only groomed males from the “most prominent families,” explained one alumnus, and “arranged a ‘quid pro quo’ with them which required them to take photographs of their genitals and deliver them to Faculty 22.”
The report continues that 22 ran a campus club of male students known as “Toad Boys,” whom he escorted “to visit brothels in Europe and New York… He would get the boys prostitutes and then he would sit and watch…. He took photos of the boys with these prostitutes.”
Read the full report here.
During his lifetime, Studds was unapologetic about his behavior with young males, including the 17-year-old page with whom he had what he described as a “consensual” relationship. Studds was censured in the House by a vote of 420-3, after reading a statement defending his conduct with his back turned to his Congressional colleagues. A heterosexual Republican from downstate Illinois censured at the same time quickly resigned from Congress in shame. But Studds adamantly refused to quit and was subsequently reelected by his Massachusetts constituents. He died in 2006.
One, Faculty 20, who taught there in “the late 1960’s,” once “molested” a male student in the front seat of his car and also reportedly held “dorm meetings in the nude with ‘all of the boys’ also nude in his on-campus apartment.”
Another predatory homosexual teacher “in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s” was called Faculty 23. According to one account, an alumnus only identified as “Student 69” reported that this gay teacher “was in another male student’s dorm room and rubbed Vaseline on the student’s testicles. The male student was offended and requested that Faculty 23 stop. Faculty 23 allegedly threatened the student and said, ‘You can’t tell me what to do, I’m a teacher.’”
St. Paul’s often wrote glowing recommendations for the faculty perverts it wanted to get rid of. In one case listed in the report, one of the former teachers dismissed for “boundary issues with boys” was later fired from his new school for “inappropriate relationships” with his new male charges.
A former vice rector at the school recalled getting a phone call from an administrator at the new school asking why St. Paul’s hadn’t accurately informed them of the educator’s record. The St. Paul’s administrator said he replied, “Why didn’t you contact us about him?”
“We didn’t check his references,” the administrator said, “because he was coming from St. Paul’s.”
Howie Carr is a New York Times best-selling author of Kennedy Babylon: A Century of Scandal and Depravity and a Boston-based talk radio host.