REPORT: Senator’s Husband Allegedly Mishandled School Sex Abuse Allegations

Shutterstock/Wangkun Jia

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan’s husband, Tom Hassan, allegedly failed to appropriately handle allegations of sexual misconduct while serving in the administration at Phillips Exeter Academy (PEA), a prestigious boarding and day school in Exeter, New Hampshire, Fox News reported.

An independent investigation by the Holland & Knight law firm found that during Hassan’s tenure as assistant principal between 2001-2008, and as principal from 2008-2014, he and the other leaders were “ineffective” and “incomplete” in their response to complaints of inappropriate behavior by staff at PEA, according to the Fox News.

The report was published in August 2018, noting that PEA’s leadership failed to set up any type of effective protocol for students, faculty, and other employees to file complaints, Fox continued. “Reflective of this absence of protocol was that some individuals who experienced different forms of sexual misconduct at various points were not able to seek assistance or, when they sought assistance, were not treated consistently or fairly,” the report stated, according to the outlet.

In one example, a history professor, Richard Schubart, admitted to having a sexual relationship with one of his students in 2011, and while Hassan forced him to resign, the professor was allowed to attend school events and participate in student life, Fox noted. Schubart is one of six former PEA staff members to have been investigated by Holland & Knight over accusations of sexual misconduct, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat.

After the allegations and investigation, Schubart was then appointed to leadership committees on Sen. Hassan’s 2012 gubernatorial campaign, Fox reported. Hassan is currently fighting against Republican candidate Don Bolduc to keep her seat in the upcoming November midterm elections, the outlet continued.

“Senator Hassan’s opponents tried to use the same misleading attacks on her family in 2016,” Hassan’s campaign spokesperson Kevin Donohoe told Fox News Digital.”Six years later, they’re trying to bring back these desperate attacks to distract from Don Bolduc’s extremism.” (RELATED: Bouncer In Crimea Jailed For Having Sex With Random Woman In Front Of Nightclub Patrons)

Hassan stepped down as principal of PEA in 2015 and apologized for not going public with the allegations against Schubart, Politico reported. He said that he and other school officials were attempting to protect the privacy of the former students, adding that “it’s clear in retrospect that we didn’t get that balance right,” the outlet noted.