Former Supt. Fred Foresteire has been charged with seven counts of assault and battery for allegedly inappropriately touching three female Everett Public Schools (EPS) employees.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Police Chief Steven Mazzie announced the charges late on Tuesday afternoon, noting that Foresteire, 75, will be arraigned on April 4 in Malden District Court.
The charges were born out of a controversy that surfaced around Thanksgiving last year when Foresteire was accused of sexual harassment by a former EPS employee, Andrea Garay. Garay filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). That launched an investigation into that and other incidents, and led to the sudden retirement of Foresteire in December after more than 50 years on the job in Everett.
DA Ryan stated that Foresteire was charged on Tuesday with the following crimes:
•Indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 60.
•Assault and Battery.
•And, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14.
The seven counts were focused on three victims, Ryan said, all of whom were EPS employees who were known to him.
An attorney that represented Foresteire before the School Committee, from Spruce Law, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria declined to comment on the charges.
School Committee Chair Tom Abruzzese said he couldn’t comment immediately on the charges, but said they would be “stunning” if true. He said they would likely be calling a special meeting in the near future to discuss the next steps.
That came quickly, as the City’s website had posted at 11:53 a.m. an emergency meeting for Tuesday at 8 p.m., beyond Independent deadlines, for an executive session “to investigate charges of criminal misconduct.”
That meeting was not expected to be in open session, and it was called for by Interim Supt. Janice Gauthier.
Attorney Tara Swartz, who represents some of the victims, including Garay, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association, nor the Everett Teachers Association, were immediately available for comment as well.
DA Ryan reminded these charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.