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  Accusations Surface against Third Bishop Guertin Teacher

Associated Press State & Local Wire
March 27, 2002

Just a day after authorities said two teachers at a Roman Catholic high school in Nashua were accused of sexual misconduct with students, a third faces similar allegations.

Bishop Guertin High School officials said in a written statement Wednesday that Brother Roger Argencourt was removed from the school in January when they learned of the allegations involving pupils from the 1970s.

Police said Argencourt is accused of sexually assaulting two former students, but don't expect to press charges. They did not describe the nature of the assaults.

"Once the investigation was completed, there was sufficient information to support criminal charges, however due to the expiration of the statute of limitations" none was likely, police said in a written release.

Brother Leo Labbe, the school's principal, said in his statement Argencourt had not taught at the school for a several years, but had lived and worked there until the allegations surfaced.

Labbe's statement did not detail the nature of Argencourt's recent work, or his whereabouts. Argencourt formerly taught history and was head of the school's social studies department.

Labbe said the school's lawyers recently had given him additional information about the allegations against Argencourt and that the school would investigate immediately. He did not provide details of that information.

On Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that similar allegations have been made against two other teachers, who like Argencourt are members of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart religious order that owns and operates the school.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation continues, identified one of the teachers as Brother Guy Beaulieu, but did not name the other.

Beaulieu, a mathematics teacher and golf coach who began teaching at the school in the 1970s, moved to the brothers' retirement home in Burrillville, R.I., in 1990. The official did not know if the other teacher still taught at the school.

The official said Wednesday that Argencourt is not the unidentified instructor.

The official said Beaulieu and the unidentified brother are accused of assaulting pupils, one of whom was 14, between 1977 and 1978.

In his statement, Labbe said the allegations against Beaulieu were old news, referring to an AP story from November 1997 that mentioned allegations by students and school staff members against Beaulieu.

"The specific information contained in The Associated Press story concerning Brother Beaulieu was publicized four-and-a-half years ago," Labbe wrote. "I am not aware of any ongoing investigation into these allegations, but the school and I will fully cooperate in any such investigation."

The investigations into those brothers began when two people, prompted by the surge of abuse allegations against priests around the country, told authorities about the alleged assaults, the official said.

Because of the statute of limitations, the cases appear to be too old to file charges, but the official said details of the allegations continue to emerge and charges could be filed at a later date.

At the time of all of the alleged assaults, the school was all boys. It began admitting girls in 1992 and now enrolls about 800 pupils, mostly from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

 
 

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