DERRY, NH — Derry police are assisting in an investigation regarding alleged sexual assaults involving students at Pinkerton Academy. Police Captain Vern Thomas released the following press release, which says after investigation, there is no evidence to support allegations first made via Snapchat of several students being sexually assaulted
On September 12, 2019, the Derry police school resource officer (SRO) assigned to Pinkerton Academy received a report from a school administrator about a Snapchat message that was circulating through some of the student population regarding alleged sexual assaults involving Pinkerton students. Specifically, the message alleged that 12 female students had been sexually assaulted by a male student and when they reported it to school staff the school would not take any action.
The SRO spoke with Pinkerton Academy staff who indicated no such reporting had occurred.
They pledged full cooperation with Derry police in investigating this claim and any crimes that may be discovered resulting from that investigation.
The SRO established that a student had seen something on social media asserting that the incidents occurred, and the school would not help these alleged victims. This student “reposted” the message which led to several other students viewing it and sharing it. The message spread quickly through the school.
The SRO spoke with the student that initiated the re-posted message. That student stated she did not know who authored the original message or how to contact that person. She also stated that she had no personal information about the sexual assaults and merely reposted something she read. She had no idea who may be a victim or suspect or any details of a crime.
Derry police conducted dozens of interviews of students who shared the Snapchat post or protested at the school on September 13 about the allegations. This investigation yielded no names of any possible victims or suspects and no details of any crimes. During these interviews, the officer encouraged students to come forward privately to make a report if they believed they were a victim of a crime. He also asked that they share with police and school staff any information they may become aware of in the future involving other
students who may be victims of crime.
At this time, it appears no crimes were committed as alleged in the Snapchat posting. The Derry police encourage “See Something – Say Something”. The public are often the eyes and ears for law enforcement. Prompt reporting of their observations directly to police, and as in this case school staff, helps keep our community safe. Parents are asked to be attentive to their children’s presence on social media and report suspicious circumstances to Derry police. Messages such as the one detailed in this incident should not be “shared” but reported immediately to law enforcement.