EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 26, 2013

Brooks School alumnus alleges he was sexually abused at age 15 by woman administrator

Lawsuit names Brooks School and several former administrators

By Mark E. Vogler

---- — BOSTON — A Brooks School alumnus claims he was sexually abused by a woman administrator while a student at the North Andover prep school more than three decades ago.

The alumnus, known as "John Doe," alleged in a 13-page lawsuit filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, that Lois V. Poirot, who was then assistant director of admissions at Brooks, began having sex with him when he was 15 and continued for three years until he graduated in 1980.

"Defendant Poirot was extremely aggressive, engaging John in frequent sexual activity, in her office, at her home on the Brooks campus, in his dorm room during summer sessions, in her car, and at other locations, both on and off campus," the lawsuit alleged.

"Poirot did everything possible to convince John that they were engaging in a normal sexual relationship, despite the disparity in their ages. Despite the fact that defendant Poirot was married and the mother of two young children, she told John that she loved him and that she was going to leave her husband and run away with him," according to the court complaint.

"As a result of defendant Poirot's careful grooming, and her efforts to create the impression of a normal sexual relationship, John did not understand that he was being raped, and sexually abused, solely for defendant Poirot's sexual pleasure, until 2011, and that he had been harmed by this conduct."

Poirot, 67, of Amesbury; former Brooks Headmaster H. Peter Aitken; 10 unnamed Brooks administrators and faculty members and the school are the defendants named in the lawsuit filed by Cambridge attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr. and Boston attorney Carmen L. Durso.

The lawyers seek a jury trial to determine the amount of compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and other costs.

Among the circumstances cited in the lawsuit:

--John spent time in Poirot's office, on a daily basis, with the door closed, even though she, as an Admissions Counselor, had no

continuing duties to him.

--Several Brooks supervisors saw John constantly in Poirot's company, both in school and at her home. They observed Poirot drop off John at his dorm at times, and in circumstances, when he shouldn’t have been outside of his dorm.

--Brooks staff knew John was failing his courses, despite daily counseling at Poirot's home;

--Brooks supervisors ignored comments from many students who observed Poirot's interactions with John and asked if he was sleeping

with her.

--At least three members of the Brooks administration observed explicit sexual conduct between Poirot and John.

--Poirot had sexual relations with John in her home, where her husband, William Poirot, found them in his bed, in the shower together, and in other circumstances, but he did not say or do anything about it.

The Brooks School, located at 1160 Great Pond Road North Andover, is a coeducational boarding and day school for grades 9-12.

Read more about the lawsuit in tomorrow's edition of The Eagle-Tribune and on eagletribune.com.