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Oxbow High Teacher Is Terminated

Oxbow coach Brian Musty during an Oxbow girls lacrosse game in Chelsea in Spring 2011. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

Oxbow coach Brian Musty during an Oxbow girls lacrosse game in Chelsea in Spring 2011. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

Bradford — Oxbow High School gym teacher Brian Musty, who faces charges of sexually assaulting a former student, has been fired, Orange East Supervisory Union Superintendent Don Johnson said, after school officials completed an internal investigation into his time at the school.

In an interview yesterday, Johnson said that he recommended terminating Musty’s employment and the School Board approved it at a meeting earlier this month. Musty had been on paid leave after he was arrested in November on a charge stemming from an alleged incident that occurred in the late 1990s.

The decision to fire Musty was based on both the police documents filed to support the criminal charge and the results of an internal investigation launched by the school district days after the charge was filed, Johnson said. The internal investigation found that there are no additional victims, and that Musty’s alleged crime was an isolated incident.

“There is no indication that the incident goes beyond the allegations contained in the police report,” the investigation report’s summary said. “We have no reason to believe that any other students or staff are involved in any way.”

Reached at home in Topsham, Vt., Musty declined to comment yesterday, and Musty’s attorney, Kerry DeWolfe of Barre, Vt., did not respond to a request for comment.

The full investigation report, Johnson said, is considered to be a confidential record protected by attorney/client privilege. But the district released a four paragraph summary of its key findings to the public.

Johnson said that school investigators interviewed staff members who worked with Musty, along with some former staff members who are no longer with the district. Former students, Johnson said, were not interviewed.

“We weren’t about to go through a list of all students in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and call them all,” Johnson said.

Had staffers identified other students who they felt may allegedly have had inappropriate conduct with Musty, those students would have been interviewed, Johnson said.

“That’s the kind of thing we would have pursued further,” Johnson said.

Musty, who was a physical education teacher and coach of Oxbow’s girls basketball, soccer and lacrosse teams, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of repeatedly assaulting a former player, who lived with him for a time, between 1997 and 1998, both at home and in school.

The accuser, now 30, came forward to authorities in October after attending counseling. She no longer lives in the Upper Valley.

“I am reporting this abuse now as up until now I have not been able to cope with it,” she wrote in a sworn statement. “It is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety.”

As a general practice, the Valley News does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes.

Though the school says its investigation found no evidence of other victims, several parents, during a community forum days after Musty’s arrest, said officials may have missed warning signs with Musty, and noted that there had long been rumors of alleged inappropriate behavior with students.

“I went home and I told my daughters, ‘You stay away from him,’ ” Ann Cook, who coached at the school, said during the hearing. “There were inappropriate close relationships, too much contact.”

It was the second time in recent history that a Bradford teacher was charged with sex crimes against a student.

Former Bradford Elementary School teacher Richard Foster, who recently died in federal prison, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009 for producing child pornography involving two sixth-grade boys.

Mark Davis can be reached at mcdavis@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.