Bishop Guertin responds to lawsuit

Attorney admits school knowingly hired convicted molester

File photos Bishop Guertin High School’s gymnasium. Bishop Guertin is presently being sued by a former female student alleging that an employee sexually assaulted her.

NASHUA – In a response to the lawsuit filed by former student Larissa Troy, Bishop Guertin High School attorneys acknowledge school officials knew Brother Shawn McEnany had been convicted of sexually assaulting a student at another school when they hired him.

Concerns about staffing and hiring practices at the Nashua private high school have prompted requests for The Telegraph to investigate. The concerned individuals who brought this to The Telegraph’s attention cited the lack of transparency and oversight of internal operations at Bishop Guertin, including multiple allegations of past sexual abuse by faculty.

In May, Troy filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County Superior Court-South against Bishop Guertin and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of New England, the Roman Catholic religious order that owns and operates the school. Troy claims she was sexually assaulted by McEnany when she was a student in the 1990s.

McEnany, who died in 2017, has not taught at Bishop Guertin since the late 1990s.

“The defendants admit that Sacred Heart assigned McEnany to teach at BG with actual knowledge of the convictions and that BG allowed him to be a teacher at the school with actual knowledge of the convictions,” the school’s July 2 response to Troy’s lawsuit states.

The response is signed by two attorneys, John Edwards and David Pinsonneault, both of the Winer & Bennett law firm in Nashua. While the school is now admitting it knew about McEnany’s past when he was hired, it denies it is responsible for the alleged abuse Troy claims.

According to the lawsuit, McEnany was convicted in 1988 of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. McEnany was a teacher at the St. Dominic Regional High School in Lewiston, Maine when he allegedly engaged in oral sex with a girl. St. Dominic was also owned by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The response from Pinsonneault and Edwards states that while the Sacred Heart provincial head at the time knew of the conviction, they are not sure if McEnany was required to register as a sex offender.

Bishop Guertin hired McEnany to be a teacher in Nashua in 1990, and the school went from being an all-boys school to coeducational in 1992.

According to Troy’s lawsuit, she started at Bishop Guertin in 1992. She claims that in November 1995, McEnany forced himself on her in a classroom and performed a sexual act.

Troy also claims McEnany later approached her while she was sitting on a radiator in the school with her sister. She said he then forced his body between her legs and touched his genitals against hers.

McEnany was arrested in 1997 for failing to register as a sex offender, and being a teacher despite being a sex offender, which is illegal in New Hampshire. Those charges were later dropped.

McEnany went on to become a social worker in Rhode Island.

Both sides are seeking a trial in the matter.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DF.