Aldous: Was There Another Sexual Assault at ESD?

Yesterday’s trial proceedings ended on quite the cliff-hanger. In case you missed the final portion of my Day 7 post, I’ve recreated it here.

The judge has recessed the court until Monday following a line of questioning by Charla Aldous regarding an alleged previous case of sexual assault at ESD. Aldous was questioning Father Stephen Swann, founder and headmaster, when Shonn Brown objected and requested to approach the bench. Here are the last lines of testimony:

“If ESD had kicked [Jane Doe II] out of the school because what happened between her and Nathan Campbell sullied the pristine reputation of ESD, do you believe this would be a sin?” Aldous asks.

“I do,” Swann says. “[Sexual abuse] is a horrible wrong and a sin … I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

Aldous then asks, “You don’t know of another ESD student that’s been sexually assaulted by a teacher, do you?”

Objection by Shonn Brown. Aldous offers to rephrase.

“You never recall another incident at ESD where a teacher had sex with a student?” Aldous asks.

Brown asks to approach the bench. Brief break in testimony. When the attorneys return, Aldous resumes her questioning, this time saying:

“You have no knowledge of any other student being sexually abused or having a sexual relationship with a teacher at ESD?” Aldous says.

“I do not,” Swann says.

“Father Swann, that is a lie sir, is it not?” Aldous asks.

No answer, then Aldous names another student who stated she was sexually abused by a teacher at ESD in 2000 and told Swann about it. Swann says he remembers the student’s name.

Brown calls to approach. The jury is sent home, and the counselors go into the judge’s chambers.

The trial will resume on Monday, August 8.

10 thoughts on “Aldous: Was There Another Sexual Assault at ESD?

  • August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

    That has to hurt. Why did the court adjourn until Monday?

  • August 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

    @Trial Report: As I understand it, even though Judge Benson is presiding over this trial, she still has a full docket of civil hearings. She is using these days to catch up on other court matters. Every week, unless something changes, there won’t be a trial on Fridays.

  • August 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I wish Swann’s finances came out in all this. The amount of money he’s taken from parents, alumni, applicants, etc is ridiculous.

  • August 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    ESDParent – Well, he’s certainly used even more cash in attorney’s fees in blocking the paintiffs from exposing his finances…. I wonder if that’s covered by insurance, or if it comes out of tuition, parents, alumni, etc..

  • August 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    @another ESD parent

    I have known the father of Jane Doe II for several years and I can vouch for his character. He is a decent, upstanding guy and a loving husband and father. He gives a lot of his time back to the community and is really a salt of the earth kind of guy. I really don’t think this is about the money for him. I think he is motivated by a father’s love for his daughter and a righteous sense of anger.

  • August 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Claire – You should check out the filings posted on August 5. There is a big development – a Former Student (referred to as “FS”) contacted the plaintiffs lawyers last week to share that she was sexually abused while at ESD. I believe they are going to depose her. Anyway, check it out – would be interested if you have additional info from the court as I would have thought this would have been mentioned…?

  • August 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    @Observer, I know the filing you are referring to. Considering we never named Former Student (and had no plans to), the filing didn’t change anything on our end. I’m curious what Monday’s proceedings will reveal though.

  • August 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Claire – I never, ever suggested naming anyone!

    The reason I pointed out the filing is that it explains what happened in the courtroom on Friday. That Ms. Aldous confronted Father Swann – because someone (FS) came forward last week and shared her experiences with the plaintiffs!

    Someone else in this or another thread asked to name the victim/teacher and I protested. (Those two comments have since been removed.)

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