EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 27, 2013

Lawsuit: Brooks School alumnus sexually abused by administrator

Alumnus, 51, says female staffer raped him when he was 15

BOSTON — A Brooks School alumnus said the staff of the elite boarding school knew he was having an affair with a woman administrator while he was a 15-year-old student there.

“It’s clear that many adults knew and nobody did a thing,” the alumnus, known as “John Doe,” said in an interview yesterday about his alleged relationship with Lois Poirot, who was assistant director of admissions at the school from 1978 to 1980 — the period he said he was abused by her.

“If one person had spoken out, I’d be in a very different situation right now,’’ he said. “I don’t understand why nobody did anything about it. But I want the public to know it happened.’’

Doe — as he is referred to in court papers — remains anonymous at this point, but went public with his story yesterday by filing a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court against Brooks School, Poirot and former Brooks Headmaster H. Peter Aitken.

The 13-page complaint filed by Cambridge lawyer Roderick MacLeish Jr. and Boston lawyer Carmen Durso also listed as defendants up to 10 yet-to-be named Brooks administrators and faculty members “who knew, or should have known, about Poirot’s improper conduct with students at Brooks.” They were referred to as “Michael Moe, Nos. 1 - 10, defendants.”

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

Poirot, 67, of 60 Merrimac St., Amesbury, could not be reached for comment. She did not return a phone message left by an Eagle-Tribune reporter.

Meanwhile, school officials sent an email to “Brooks Alumni, Parents and Friends” last night in response to the lawsuit.

The email — sent jointly by Headmaster John Packard and William Booth, president of the Brooks School Board of Trustees — called the claim “obviously troubling, made even more so because it is consistent with a similar account of such conduct on her part brought to the school’s attention and settled confidentially decades ago.”

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