EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 21, 2013

Victim: 'This was not my choice'

Former Pike student details alleged abusive relationship with teacher

BOSTON — A former Pike School student recalled yesterday how it felt to be 15 years old and in love with one of his teachers, who was more than three times his age.

“We had visions of being married,” the former student, now 34, said of the sexual relationship that developed between him and the former Pike teacher, Judith Elefante (Judith Chapell at the time) during 1992 and 1993 at the independent, coed, day school in Andover for grades prekindergarten through nine.

But two decades later, the former Pike student said he now realizes that the special attention, gifts and sex that Elefante showered him with wasn’t love at all — but the acts of someone who “just preyed on me.”

“From what I know now and knowing that she’s done this to other people, I think she’s a monster — no different than any of the other ones that I’m sure everyone’s talked about,” he, said referring to high profile sex offenders who have generated publicity in recent years for their abuse of children.

“She’s preying on young kids,” he told the reporters who gathered in the downtown law offices of Boston Attorney Carmen L. Durso to learn the details of a lawsuit filed on his behalf as plaintiff “John Doe.” He agreed to go public, provided his face, voice and other identifying features were not revealed.

Elefante, 70, now of Newburyport; the Pike School; and three former Pike school administrators are among 16 defendants named in the lawsuit filed by Boston attorney Carmen L. Durso. The Groton School and 10 of its school administrators and teachers are also named as co-defendants. Criminal charges cannot be filed in this case, as the statute of limitations has expired.

John Doe alleged that he was “sexually abused and raped, while he was a minor,” by Elefante “because of the negligence of the administrators and teachers of the Pike School Inc. and Groton School, where he attended while carrying on a sexual relationship with Elefante, according the 21-page lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday.

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