Maine Sex Conviction Haunts N.H. Teacher
Brother Shawn McEnany, a Convicted Sex Offender, Has Been Teaching at a Nashua School, against New Hampshire Law
Associated Press, carried in Portland Press Herald (Maine)
November 14, 1997
A teacher at a Roman Catholic high school was charged Thursday after authorities decided his earlier sex conviction in Maine puts him in violation of New Hampshire law.
Brother Shawn McEnany, 35, was charged Thursday morning with teaching as a convicted sex offender and failing to register as a sex offender, Lt. William Barlow said.
McEnany surrendered to police later in the day, and then was released on $ 25,000 personal recognizance bail. He was to appear in Nashua District Court on Tuesday.
"It's extremely unfortunate," said McEnany's lawyer, Michael Dunn. "He has not only an unblemished record, it's a great record.
"Neither the school nor Brother Shawn knew it was a violation to teach."
McEnany faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the first charge and up to one year in jail on the second charge, Barlow said.
Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua suspended him last week after authorities learned of his Maine criminal record from The Associated Press and began investigating. But the school said Thursday it still supports him.
"We came to a conclusion that from what we had seen in Maine and a review of the New Hampshire law . . . I think it's a clear case that he was violating the law here," Barlow said.
Although many students say McEnany was an excellent teacher, Barlow said, "The law is set aside for the protection of children . . . This individual had a trust in Maine. He violated that trust."
In Maine, McEnany originally was charged with gross sexual misconduct, a felony, for allegedly having oral sex with a 15-year-old female student at St. Dominic Regional High School in Lewiston. He pleaded guilty in 1988 to two counts of unlawful sexual contact and got a suspended jail sentence.
New Hampshire law prohibits people convicted of sexual assault from working or volunteering with children.
The Bishop Guertin lawyer, Bradford Cook, has said he is not convinced that the law barring convicted sexual offenders from teaching applies to McEnany because his conviction was for sexual contact, not sexual assault.
A former administrator at Bishop Guertin said the school knew about McEnany's record when it asked him to teach at the school in 1990, but did not think he would pose a threat because Guertin was an all-boys school at the time. The school began admitting girls in 1992.
School officials also said McEnany underwent therapy during the two years between his conviction and his employment at Guertin, which is owned by the religious order Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.