While Warwick police have concluded that a report about a teacher having consensual sex with a 16-year-old does not constitute a crime, the Warwick School Department has yet to comment on the situation other than saying that they are looking into the claims of a Warwick Veterans Memorial student’s assertion that she had sex with a teacher.
Police have concluded that they will look no further into the incident at this time but, because no formal criminal charges have been made, the report released to the public does not indicate if, or when, the teacher was questioned.
Warwick Superintendent of Schools Richard D’Agostino would not confirm or deny anything about the story. He said Saturday that, as superintendent, he has the authority to suspend a teacher “for just cause or while an investigation is ongoing.”
Asked whether there are policies that might apply to this situation, the superintendent’s office issued the following: “In response to your inquiry, in accordance with School Committee Policy #5144 (now Policy GBH), which addresses student-staff relations, and Superintendent's Regulation 5150 dating or fraternization between teachers and students is prohibited. In addition, Rhode Island General Laws Section 16-12-3 mandates that every teacher must ‘aim to implant and cultivate in the minds of all children committed to his or her care the principles of morality and virtue.’”
According to the police report, there was an instance in October of 2012 in which the same 16-year-old claimed to have had a sexual relationship and done drugs with two other teachers at the school, both of whom are female.
According to Det. Brenton Groeneveld’s report, the student’s mother told him “an investigation was conducted by the school and ended at the school” and that, “To the best of their knowledge, these allegations had been closed out at unfounded by the school.”
The report also said that the student claimed they communicated through text messages, that she used some sort of “proxy application” on her iPhone that allowed text messages to be sent that will “show up on the screen, bill or statement as another telephone number.”
The report also indicated that the detectives did print out emails and found nothing to indicate that any coercion or force had been used. The report does not disclose anything about what was in the emails. They also realized that the one incident she spoke of occurred in Jamestown, R.I., and was out of their jurisdiction, so even if the allegations were true, the Jamestown Police would have to investigate it.
“Once we know that any charges are out of our jurisdiction, we drop it,” said Deputy Chief Maj. Raymond Gallucci. He added he would have no other comment on the allegations.
With reports from John Howell