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Woman to plead guilty to lying to grand jury about former St. Paul's teacher

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 17. 2018 9:29PM



CONCORD — A Chicago woman is expected to plead guilty next month to lying before a grand jury about her contacts with David O. Pook, the disgraced former St. Paul’s School teacher who pleaded guilty to similar charges a month ago, state prosecutors announced.

Stephanie O’Connell, 28, is scheduled to appear for a plea and sentencing hearing on Oct. 1 in Merrimack County Superior Court, according to a statement issued by New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald. She has been charged with two misdemeanors: false swearing and conspiracy to commit false swearing.

The announcement comes a week after MacDonald’s office announced it was concluding a high-profile investigation into sexual abuse of minors at the elite prep school without bringing any criminal charges against the school or certain individuals. Rather, St. Paul’s accepted five years of oversight, staff training and victim services.

MacDonald’s office said it could not address specifics regarding O’Connell because the case remains open. The office only said she allegedly made false statements to the grand jury about contacts with Pook.

When Pook pleaded guilty last month, prosecutors said Pook — a husband and father — had a sexual relationship with an unidentified woman, according to news accounts of the Pook hearing.

The relationship began years ago and continued as recently as his arrest. The woman denied a sexual relationship with Pook during grand jury proceedings, state prosecutors said in court documents.

The woman graduated from St. Paul’s School with high honors in 2009.

A mystery woman is also identified in earlier affidavits filed by MacDonald’s office after it viewed emails between Pook and an unidentified former student. The subject was her upcoming testimony before a grand jury.

“I don’t know if this is worth saying, but I have never said anything to anyone,” she wrote to Pook. “As far as I am concerned, these are rumors spread amongst teenagers, and that is what I am planning on sharing (to the grand jury), and I hope my word is stronger than some rumors.”

According to the affidavit, the woman denied a sexual relationship with Pook.

She turned 18 in 2008, the same year Pook left St. Paul’s.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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