Bishop Guertin Religion Teacher Likely to Face Sex Offender Charge
By Kate Munro
Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
November 13, 1997
NASHUA A Nashua police lieutenant said yesterday he will in all likelihood bring charges against a Catholic school teacher for breaking a law that prohibits sex offenders from working with children.
"We haven't made the decision yet, but I do perceive that charges are going to be brought forward in this case," said Lt. William Barlow, commander of the Youth Services Division. "From everything I've seen up to this point, I think charges are warranted."
Barlow said the decision will be made today.
Brother Shawn McEnany, 35, a Bishop Guertin religion teacher, pleaded guilty in 1988 to two counts of unlawful sexual contact with a 15-year-old female student while he was teaching at a Catholic school in Maine.
He began teaching at Bishop Guertin in 1990, after he was approached by Brother Leo Labbe, the school's headmaster.
Labbe, who has said he knew of McEnany's criminal history, defended the school's decision to hire him. He said the school's administration did not know about the New Hampshire law until recently. McEnany faces a Class A felony charge of working with children while being a convicted sexual offender, which is punishable by 7-1/2 to 15 years in State Prison. He also faces a maximum one-year sentence for not registering with the local police department as a convicted sexual offender.
On Monday, Bishop Guertin students, graduates, teachers and parents defended McEnany, who has been on personal leave since last week.
David Burtman, 20, who graduated in 1995, said McEnany was "a great teacher, the best. I think as long as (he) was monitored, there was no problem with it (his teaching). He's proven himself as an excellent teacher. . . . I think bygones should be bygones."
Lt. Barlow, however, adamantly defended the state law that prohibits sex offenders from working with children.
"I think this is an area that society has determined that in this case, he doesn't get a second chance in teaching," he said. "The chances of something else occuring (with) children far outweigh him losing an occupation." After reviewing the law, Barlow said that no charges could be brought against the school for hiring a known sex offender.
The Nashua police have received no complaints about McEnany since he began working at Bishop Guertin, according to Barlow.
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