Former Claremont substitute teacher cited with sex assault

  • George Caccavaro, of Claremont, N.H.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/22/2019 11:53:06 AM

CLAREMONT — A longtime Claremont resident who has worked in three Upper Valley school districts was cited into court on sexual assault charges that allege he inappropriately touched a Stevens High School special-needs student in February, police said Tuesday.

George T. Caccavaro, who was a paraprofessional in the Claremont School District at the time, told police in an interview earlier this month that he inappropriately touched the student, who is over the age of 18, while they were on a school trip to volunteer at a local nonprofit, according to an affidavit from Claremont Police Detective Casey Piehl filed in Claremont district court.

The 78-year-old Caccavaro, who most recently worked as the business administrator for the Newport School District, allegedly grabbed the student’s buttocks over her clothing and thrust into her pelvis over her clothing during a hug, an alleged incident that two volunteers at the nonprofit told police they witnessed, the affidavit states.

The situation came to light in February when the woman’s grandmother, who is her guardian, spoke with School Resource Officer Crystal Simonds and reported that she believed her granddaughter had been inappropriately touched by an employee.

Caccavaro, in an interview with police on Oct. 9 and in subsequent emails to investigators, acknowledged his alleged behavior, saying in part “it started out as a hug and turned into an 18-year-old jaunt,” the affidavit states.

Caccavaro expressed remorse for his alleged actions in the emails on Oct. 9 and Oct. 10, writing “I over-reacted by hugging her back while squeezing her buttocks and moving both my hips and hands inappropriately,” according to the affidavit.

The witnesses referred to the alleged incident as “sexual” and “intimate” in nature, according to the affidavit.

The student’s mother told authorities that her daughter was scared to return to school, the affidavit states.

As a general practice, the Valley News doesn’t identify the victims of alleged sex crimes.

Caccavaro turned himself in to Claremont police on Monday on two misdemeanor sexual assault counts and was released on personal recognizance bail.

The alleged incident in February wasn’t the first time someone has raised concerns about Caccavaro’s behavior toward the student. Prior to Christmas vacation last year, a Stevens High School teacher reported that Caccavaro had been seen kissing the same student on the cheek, according to the affidavit.

Stevens Principal Pat Barry told police that someone spoke with Caccavaro about the matter, and he said he “looks at (her) like a granddaughter.”

Caccavaro was told not to focus on her and to put his attention on other special-needs students, but he continued buying her food and snacks, the document states.

In a news release on Tuesday, the Claremont School District said Caccavaro worked for the district as a substitute teacher while the affidavit referred to him as a paraprofessional. It isn’t clear if he worked full-time or part-time. The district said he worked in the school from Feb. 1, 2017, to Feb. 5, 2019.

“The district moved expeditiously to investigate and ultimately separate Mr. Caccavaro from employment with the Claremont School District,” Superintendent Michael Tempesta wrote in the release. “The charges against this former employee are serious and deeply disturbing to the faculty and staff at SAU 6. Student safety is of paramount importance for the Claremont Public Schools.”

Each of the charges Caccavaro faces is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine, Claremont police said in the release, which did not provide any details about the alleged assault.

Part of the basis for the charges are that the student has a “disability that renders her incapable of freely arriving at an independent choice as to whether or not to engage in sexual conduct,” and that Caccavaro knew, or should have known, that she had such a disability, the complaint documents state.

Newport Interim Superintendent Brendan Minnihan also issued a letter to parents Tuesday, saying that Caccavaro had been the business administrator for SAU 43.

Caccavaro resigned from his position on Monday, Minnihan said.

Caccavaro, who turns 79 on Thursday, is a former business administrator for the Mascoma Valley Regional School District. He also is a former CEO of Cone Blanchard in Windsor, according to his LinkedIn page, and served for a time as Claremont mayor and on the city’s police commission.

A phone message seeking comment was left for Caccavaro at his home Tuesday morning.

He is scheduled be arraigned on the charges Dec. 2 in Claremont district court.

The Claremont School District is asking anyone who may have information about the Caccavaro matter or the safety or welfare of students to call 603-543-4200.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.




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