Sexual abuser who ran Brownsville outdoors school sentenced for similar crimes in NC, elsewhere


Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 01-14-2022 11:53 PM

The former owner of a Brownsville outdoors school who had served prison time in Vermont for aggravated sexual assault against minors was sentenced in a North Carolina courtroom on Wednesday to 30 years in prison for similar offenses committed years earlier in North Carolina and elsewhere.

Peter Drutchal, who also went by the name Peter Kennedy and Peter Drutchal-Kennedy and ran Adventure Quest, an outdoors school in Brownsville that taught competitive kayaking, pleaded guilty to six charges of sexual violence committed decades ago, before he had moved to Vermont in the late 1980s where he was later convicted of sex crimes, according to a news release from North Carolina District Attorney Benjamin David.

Drutchal, 69, was on probation and living in Bennington when he was arrested and extradited to North Carolina in 2020 to face multiple charges of molesting two minors in 1979 and 1983 when he operated a youth adventure group in Wilmington, N.C. The first North Carolina victim came forward in 2017, which led to a second North Carolina victim corroborating abuse by Drutchal, according to the district attorney.

A world-class kayaker, Drutchal, who resided in Reading, Vt., pleaded no contest in 2002 in Vermont District Court in White River Junction to sexually abusing two of his minor students scores of times at the Brownsville school between the mid-1990s and 2000.

Sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison, Drutchal on good behavior was eligible for parole within 15 years.

Following his criminal conviction, Drutchal was found guilty in two separate civil trials against him in Windsor County court by former students he had abused, with one victim awarded $3 million in damages and a second victim awarded $5 milllion.

In Wednesday’s plea deal in North Carolina, Drutchal pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted statutory sexual offense and three counts of indecent liberties with a child, the district attorney said. He is to serve two consecutive sentences of 15 years each, register as a sex offender for life and is barred from contact with minor children, according to the news release.


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