What is detailed in the Everett Police criminal complaint against former Supt. Fred Foresteire – though just an allegation at this point – is shocking and sad to many in the community.
The redacted complaint – which does not contain names of victims or interviewees – became available to the media late last week, and the 15-page complaint relies on seven interviews with alleged victims, current administrators, City Hall employees, staff members and former employees of the district.
It paints a picture of a man who allegedly obsessed over certain women and allegedly took action – mostly at the School Administration Building – on those feelings.
It was a place, according to the complaint, that was like Las Vegas.
“(The victim) stated that on one occasion Foresteire allegedly told her that the Administration Building is ‘Like Las Vegas, what happens here stays here,” read the criminal complaint filed by Everett Police in Malden District Court.
The allegations in the voluminous report are graphic, but particularly for two of the victims – and some of the incidents are being corroborated by current and former school employees who told police they were informed of the allegations long before the controversy erupted publicly last fall.
One of the victims was a long-time employee with the schools who, among other allegations, said her troubles began when she went into work at the Administration Building on a Sunday in 2012 or early 2013.
The problem started when her friend dropped her off and Foresteire allegedly asked her if that was her “lesbian lover.”
Soon after, she alleged that Foresteire came towards her and unzipped her sweat jacket and allegedly began kissing her neck and chest area. She pushed him away and told him to stop, and then he allegedly suggested she go into an adjacent room and “bend over” so he could come up behind her.
As that unfolded a co-worker arrived and the day went on without incident.
However, when they were leaving, she went to tell him they were going home.
At that point, she began to leave the conference room and Foresteire allegedly pushed her up against a filing cabinet and forced her legs apart and allegedly rubbed his genitals on her. She was able to break free and flee the building.
On the following Monday, she said it was like nothing had happened.
The victim said that in her two years at the Administration Building, there were alleged routine harassments, and Foresteire would allegedly try to find opportunities when no one was around to touch her inappropriately. Early in 2013, however, she was finally told she would be re-assigned. However, the re-assignment she ended up with was not what was promised. She told police that was allegedly because Foresteire said she had told people about the alleged incidents.
Soon, she was working the switchboard at an elementary school. During the first year at that assignment, the victim said Foresteire would allegedly call the switchboard to speak with her. When he was assured it was the victim, he would allegedly ask her sexually explicit questions. During the final two years of her employment, this time at a different school, she said all of the alleged harassment stopped as if it had never happened.
According to the complaint, one of Foresteire’s alleged common activities was to call select women on the switchboard and ask them sexually explicit and graphic questions .
Another victim, who worked at the Administration Building in 2017 and 2018, detailed other incidents where Foresteire would allegedly call and ask explicit questions. The woman said she did not report it for fear of losing her job and not being able to provide for her children.
That victim told police she felt Foresteire was allegedly obsessed with her, leading her to enlist friends and other victims to help her so she would not be alone in the building.
“The victim told me that Foresteire was allegedly obsessed with her and that he would allegedly often touch her,” read the report. “She told me that he has on countless occasions allegedly put his hand on her and allegedly grabbed her butt. She stated that he would allegedly parade her around the School Administration Building as if to show her off. When he saw her, he would allegedly make her stand up and turn around so that he could look at her and inspect what she was wearing.”
That victim also detailed two alleged incidents, one in 2017 and one in 2018, when Foresteire allegedly ripped her shirt and bra off with force, and allegedly began to kiss her exposed chest – which she indicated terrified her. It wasn’t long after that, she told police, that she began to complain and was finally terminated.
Another former principal in Everett corroborated many of the accounts, and also reported another alleged account of a teacher who Foresteire allegedly tried to pull her clothes off during a visit to the school. The principal had written notes on the incident from 2011 that she had kept, and turned them over to police. The teacher had not wanted to report the matter so as not to risk her job, but she did request that the principal allegedly notify her if Foresteire was coming to the building so she could make sure she wasn’t alone.
That principal also alleged she was the subject of a lewd comment, allegedly, by Foresteire. She alleged that after attending a School Committee meeting, the next day Foresteire called to tell her he liked to look up her dress when she sat in the front row of the meetings.
“(The principal) told me that Foresteire allegedly would ‘accidentally’ rub against or touch her breasts,” read the report. “She told me that if she reacted, Foresteire would allegedly apologize as if it was unintentional, but if she didn’t react, he would say nothing.”
To counter all of the allegations, a current high-ranking female official in the School Administration – the former director of curriculum according to the report – told police she has never heard anyone tell her of any harassment or assault by Foresteire.
“She told me that no one ever told her about Mr. Foresteire acting inappropriately,” the report read. “She told me that she was the director of curriculum and that it was not her position, that any reports would go to the Title 9 director. I then asked her specifically if she recalled speaking with either (Victim 1) or (Victim 2) about Mr. Foresteire and she told me no.”
Several more incidents were detailed in the criminal complaint, which are just allegations. It has been pointed out by DA Marian Ryan consistently that Foresteire is innocent until proven guilty.
In the report, Attorney Mark Rotondo is mentioned as representing some of the victims. Contacted by the Independent, he said he would not comment on the specifics.
“This cannot be tried in the news,” he said. “Even Fred Foresteire is entitled to due process of law. It will be up to a jury of his peers to determine if he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Attorney Tara Swartz has been handling cases for three victims who have filed complaints with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). She is also mentioned in the complaint, and issued a statement last week.
“My firm represents three women who filed sexual harassment claims with the MCAD against the former Superintendent of the Everett Public Schools, Frederick Foresteire,” she wrote. “My clients have always believed that they are not alone in what they endured during their employment with EPS. They remain resolute in the pursuit of their claims, as well as their hope that coming forward will assist in effectuating real change within the school system. We have no comment about the criminal charges announced today against Mr. Foresteire. We will let due process unfold and the evidence to be presented for a jury to decide.”
The Everett Teachers Association said they were disturbed by the charges and said they would support their members who have been victimized.
“These are very disturbing charges,” wrote President Kim Auger. “The Everett Teachers Association has taken important steps to support any members who may have been victimized and we will continue to do so.”
Foresteire’s attorneys, Spruce Law, have not returned repeated phone calls to comment on the allegations.
Foresteire is due in Malden District Court on April 4 for an arraignment on seven charges.