Ex-Phillips Exeter Academy teacher faces new charges in student sex abuse case

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EXETER – A former math teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy faces new charges in the case alleging he groomed and sexually assaulted a female student he once taught.

Szczesny “Jerzy” Kaminski, 61, was charged this month with three new charges of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of witness and informant tampering.

The new charges by a Rockingham County grand jury come after Kaminski withdrew his guilty plea in the case at the last minute in February, deciding to take the case to trial instead.

Szczesny Jerzy Kaminski

Kaminski, who was a private school teacher for almost three decades until April 2020, was arrested by Exeter police in August 2020 after the victim, now in her early 20s, came forward to the police.

He was initially charged with three counts of sexual assault and three counts of aggravated sexual assault. The indictments alleged he engaged in a pattern of abuse from 2014 to 2015 against the then sophomore who was under 16 at the time.

Previous story: Former Phillips Exeter Academy teacher withdraws guilty plea in student sexual assault case

At the time of his arrest, Rockingham County District Attorney Patricia Conway called Kaminski a ‘predator’ who violated the student’s family’s trust in him to care for their daughter who lived on campus. .

Prosecutors allege Kaminski began grooming the 14-year-old girl during her freshman year by giving her gifts, driving her to and from the Boston Conservatory for weekend piano lessons and speaking in his name during an alleged disciplinary hearing for plagiarism.

They said he tutored her during her sophomore year when he coerced the student into performing oral sex and sex.

Other charges against Kaminski

Conway said this week they decided to bring additional charges after Kaminski pulled out of his plea deal, where he would have served at least 12 years in prison.

The terms of the agreement provided that Kaminski would receive a 12 to 30 year prison sentence for two of the aggravated aggravated sexual assault charges and a 10 to 20 year suspended sentence for the third. The sentence for the misdemeanor sexual assault was 12 months to be served concurrently, and the remaining charges against him would have been dropped.

Exeter Phillips Academy.

Exeter Phillips Academy.

“The state had hoped that this matter would be settled by a negotiated disposition,” Conway said. “The agreement did not include pleas to witness tampering and/or aggravated sexual assault under any other section of the law. Thus, the state did not seek indictments for these offenses. Once the defendant decided not to enter into the plea agreement, the state was free to file the additional costs.

New indictments allege more witness abuse and tampering

The new aggravated sexual assault charges allege that Kaminski engaged in a pattern of sexual assault from 2015 to 2016 against the victim during his first year at school, using his authority as a teacher, advisor to the opera faculty and tutor at the school, to coerce her into submission.

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The witness tampering charges stem from Kaminski contacting the victim in 2020 after Phillips Exeter Academy reopened its investigation into Kaminski.

Kaminski was first investigated by the PEA and police in 2015 after receiving reports that the teacher was coming and going from a women’s dormitory at odd hours. Other professors also expressed concerns about “the relationship and boundaries” between Kaminski and the student.

The case was dropped after the alleged victim and her family denied the abuse at the time. However, the PEA warned him that if the border issues persisted, he would be removed.

According to the first witness tampering indictment, Kaminski asked the victim in 2020 not to testify at school about the case, saying, “the dean may ask if I would ever hold your hand and Of course I would never do that; hold a little girl’s hand. She may ask if I’ve ever kissed you or touched you inappropriately, which is ridiculous; I don’t even kiss my wife.

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The second indictment tampering witness alleges that Kaminski contacted another person and left a voicemail. He said among other things, “PEA has decided to re-open the investigation…Because Exeter has the disclosure rules so they can publicly fire me and label me a sex offender. And that would drag you into all of this, in the rumor mill, and I don’t think that would be great for anyone, and I think we need to take back control of the narrative of all of this.

Case to be tried in January 2023

The victim in the case is represented by attorney Christine Dunn, of Sanford Heisler Sharp.

“We believe the new counts in the indictment reflect the egregious nature of the alleged crime,” Dunn said. “We are pleased to see how seriously the county attorney’s office is taking this case.”

When questioned by police in 2020, the victim of the alleged crimes shared text messages between her and Kaminski, many of which were overtly and graphically sexual in nature.

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One of the messages between her and Kaminski included a recent post in which she attempted to cut off all contact, writing, “I am overwhelmed with memories of my high school experience. … I realize how young I was at 15, and I cry for myself. I cried many, many tears. You don’t realize how ashamed I was.

Kaminski responded, writing, “I’m so sorry.”

Kaminski is expected to stand trial on the new charges in Rockingham Superior Court on June 17.

The case is currently due for trial in January 2023.

If you need help

Seacoast Media Group provides the following information as a public service without presumption of guilt or innocence in the case mentioned above:

If you need help, Haven has trained confidential advocates available. The 24-hour helpline is (603) 994-SAFE (7233). Or to log in to the confidential online chat service Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at havennh.org.

This article originally appeared on the Portsmouth Herald: Former Phillips Exeter Academy teacher faces new charges in sexual abuse case

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