Former Supt. Fred Forestiere pleaded not guilty to seven counts of assault on teachers in the Everett Public Schools in Malden District Court on Friday, April 26.
With his attorney, Gerard Malone, and an entourage that included his wife, Dorothy, and several community members at his side, Foresteire stepped up from the audience to the microphone Friday morning to say he was not guilty of the charges leveled against him, which include six counts of indecent assault and battery and one count of assault and battery. The charges were brought earlier this year, and Foresteire was only just now arraigned on those charges – which followed a lengthy Everett Police investigation.
Among the charges described at the arraignment were “mouth on breast,” “hand on buttocks,” and “pulling clothes down to expose the body.” There are three victims making the allegations.
Judge Benjamin Barnes presided over the arraignment session and let Foresteire, 76, go on his own personal recognizance – meaning no bail was imposed. He was ordered not to have any contact with victims or witnesses, and not to go near school property or school events.
Attorney Malone told the Independent they had no additional comment for the moment on the charges, and Foresteire walked out of the courthouse silently while swarmed by television reporters from Boston.
He did not speak at the arraignment either.
Attorney Malone did ask for permission for himself, and his investigator, to get entry into the School Administration Building so that they could see where the allegations were made.
While the prosecution objected on principle, Judge Barnes allowed them access with 48-hours notice.
All of the information regarding the charges was impounded from the public by Judge Barnes, a move to protect the alleged victims from public disclosure.
A Pre-Trial hearing was established for Aug. 8, which would be Foresteire’s next official court date.
Attorney Tara Swartz, who represents some of the victims, said she didn’t have a comment after the arraignment.
Attorney Mark Rotondo, who also represents some of the victims, said he believed it was time for a complete overhaul of the Everett Public Schools’ administration as a result of the charges brought against Foresteire. Rotondo is also an Everett native and a former School Committeeman.
“The allegations speak for themselves, and a jury will dictate Foresteire’s guilt or innocence,” he said. “What needs to be done is there needs to be a serious indictment of the Everett Public Schools including the current administration, which has perpetuated the code of silence for more than 30 years. The members of the School Committee should give serious consideration in determining whether or not current administrators should be placed on leave pending the conclusion of their investigation of the alleged wrongdoing of the administrative staff. As a former member of the Everett School Committee, the fiduciary duty is one of the duties held in highest regard. They owe it to the taxpayers, students, parents and teachers in the district.”