Special To The Independent
A Malden District Court judge has rejected the plea by former Everett Public School Supt. Fred Foresteire for a continuance without a finding — commonly referred to as a CWOF — which means that Foresteire’s criminal case now will likely go to trial.
The next court date in the case is set for February 6, 2023.
Foresteire is charged with six counts of indecent assault and battery and one count of assault and battery for his alleged actions during his tenure as superintendent of schools.
Under the law, the entry of a CWOF means that the defendant admits that there are sufficient facts, if the prosecution were to present the case, for a finding of guilty. However, a CWOF does not trigger a guilty finding and after a period of time to be determined by the judge, during which the defendant typically is placed on probation, the CWOF becomes a judgment of dismissal.
The practical effect of a CWOF is that the defendant will not have a criminal conviction and does not go to jail.
However, after reviewing Foresteire’s plea for a CWOF and hearing from three of Foresteire’s alleged victims, Judge Emily Karstetter said she would reject the CWOF and instead would recommend a finding of guilty, imposing a sentence of 18 months with 12 months suspended.
Three women who worked for the Everett School Department delivered emotional victim impact statements inside the courtroom Friday. All three women, who worked in different capacities in the School Department, alleged that Foresteire engaged in inappropriate behavior while they were working in their jobs in the School Department that was led by Foresteire at the time. The three women also said that Foresteire’s actions adversely affected their physical and mental health.
Following the statements by the three women, Judge Karstetter said, “I want you all to know that those were powerful, articulate, and very helpful statements. I want you all to know that you do have a voice. You are heard. You are not powerless, and you are not alone.”
In his remarks, Gerard Malone, the attorney representing Foresteire, noted some of the former superintendent’s “professional accomplishments” at the helm of the Everett School Department, including the implementation of the first pre-school program that was free of charge, an extension of the school year from 180 to 186 days, the construction of new schools throughout the city, a STEM program that received national recognition, and a top ranking among all public school districts in Massachusetts.
“He took the Everett school system to a much higher level,” said Malone in urging the judge to accept Foresteire’s request for a CWOF.
Following the hearing, Malone and Foresteire declined to comment to the media.