MALDEN (CBS) – Former Everett Public Schools Superintendent Fred Foresteire has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges for alleged sexual harassment. He appeared before a judge in Malden District Court Friday morning and then was released on personal recognizance under the conditions he has no contact with the alleged victims, witnesses, or the schools.
Foresteire, 75, is accused of inappropriately touching three women who worked for Everett Public Schools during his tenure. He was charged in February with indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 60, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14 and assault and battery.
“My clients are some of the strongest women I have ever met in my entire life. They’ve come forward, put themselves out there and talked about everything that has occurred to them,” said Attorney Mark Rotondo, who represents two of the accusers. “The allegations are grotesque…Mr. Foresteire, as he’s known throughout the district is a person who was revered by many. I counted him as a friend. And to learn now twenty years later, the things that he has been accused of, completely makes my stomach turn.”
An investigative report into the case details that multiple women say Foresteire followed them around school buildings, pinned them up against walls, and forcibly touched them. He allegedly grabbed them from behind, made sexual advances, and sexually explicated phone calls to them.
One victim said “on one occasion Foresteire told her that the administration building is ‘like Las Vegas, what happens here stays here.’”
Through interviews, the women describe working with him.
One claimed she went to a different floor to use the bathroom because she feared if she used one on her floor, which Foresteire also used, he would come in and assault her.
A second “eventually moved the computer on her desk from facing the front of the office to a kitty corner position so that while she was working she could see both doors to Foresteire couldn’t walk up behind her without her knowing.”
After calling Foresteire out for his actions, he allegedly waited two weeks before assigning the woman to an empty desk in an empty classroom where she sat alone for a week before going on vacation. When she returned, a signed letter from Foresteire told her she was reassigned to a different school.
“She felt like he was ordering her to do these things, she stated that he acted like it was a joke but it wasn’t,” said the documents.
Another interview has a similar story. “I discovered [redacted] crying in [an] office. She disclosed to the both of us that while the superintendent, Mr. Frederick Foresteire was visiting the building he made sexually lewd comments to her and tried to lift her sweater. She was wearing a long brown sweater-dress and leggings. She explained that she pushed him away putting her hands on his shoulders and that the superintendent laughed.”
According to the documents, the women did not speak up for fear of losing their jobs or some sort of retaliation.
A third woman “told me that Foresteire was obsessed with her and that he would often touch her. She told me that he has on countless occasions put his hand on her and grabbed her butt.”
A fourth woman “stated that Foresteire reached over to her left shoulder and grabbed her sweater, tank top and bra strap and pulled them down her arm exposing her breast.”
Additionally, sources tell WBZ-TV, Foresteire faces at least three more allegations of sexual harassment through the state’s anti-discrimination coalition.
Foresteire has denied doing anything wrong.
He retired after 30 years on the job in December, one day after he was put on administrative leave because of the allegations.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for August 8.
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