EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 4, 2014

Pinkerton teacher accused of student assault

Pinkerton staff was fired Friday

DERRY — A Pinkerton Academy teacher, fired on Friday, is charged with five counts of assaulting a 15-year-old female student on campus.

David Howes, 61, turned himself in to police yesterday afternoon, Capt. Vern Thomas said, on an arrest warrant for five misdemeanor charges of simple assault.

The incident allegedly occurred May 22 in Howes’ classroom after the school day had ended, Thomas said.

Howes had worked for about five years as a building construction teacher in the school’s Center for Career and Technical Education, according to Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill.

He was placed on administrative leave May 27, when Pinkerton learned of the allegations, Underhill said. He was terminated three days later.

Howes, a Windham resident, is accused of touching the student’s inner thigh. The five separate complaints all give a time of 2:15 p.m. May 22.

Thomas said he couldn’t say why Howes wasn’t charged with sexual assault.

Under state statute, Section IIIa of RSA 632-A:4, a person is guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault if they engage in sexual contact when “In a position of authority over the person.” Such contact is further defined as intentionally touching someone in a way that can be construed “as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the person in the position of authority.”

Thomas said both the school and the alleged victim notified police.

He said he could not comment on whether Howes had a criminal record.

“There is nothing else I can talk about,” he said.

Howes also operates a construction company out of his home on North Lowell Road. His general contracting business was established in 1976.

Reached yesterday, he said, “No comment, thank you,” before hanging up the phone.

Howes was co-advisor to Pinkerton’s SkillsUSA chapter, a national organization of students, teachers and industry members.

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