Woman, 45, charged with sexually assaulting Easterseals client, age 17

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The Gammon Academy on Mammoth Road. Photo/Carol Robidoux

MANCHESTER, NH – A woman accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old was briefly suspended from her Easterseals job but reinstated after an internal investigation last May determined the allegations were “unfounded,” according to court records.

In July, however, a second investigation into the conduct of Lisa Tanguay, 45, of 70 Elmwood Ave., was opened by Manchester police after the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth and Families made a referral.

The result was Tanguay’s arrest on felony charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, prostitution and related offenses.  She also is charged with misdemeanor offenses of sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child or incompetent and intentional contribution to delinquency.  The alleged incidents took place between Feb. 22 and June 14, 2021.

The prostitution charges allege she bought the teen sneakers in exchange fora sex act.

The delinquency offense accuses Tanguay of assisting the teen in violating the rules and policies of his court-ordered placement at Easterseals while pursuing a sexual relationship with him.

And the endangerment charge alleges she caused interruption to her client, to his therapeutic educational process, resulting in his discharge and inability to complete his educational program and exacerbated his emotional distress.

The 17-year-old was a resident of the Robert B. Jolicoeur School (or Gammon Academy), 2 South Mammoth Road.  His mother told Detective Andrianne Davenport that he was placed at the school under court order on Feb. 2, 2021, after a domestic incident at his home.  The teen is diagnosed with autism, bi-polar disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety.  He has been unable to attend a traditional school since the 6th grade.

DCYF, in its notification letter to police, said a client had disclosed that an inappropriate relationship had taken place between an adult staff member at Easterseals and a teen residential student.

The client, who is not identified in Davenport’s affidavit, reported that Tanguay would go into the teen’s bedroom with the door closed and that on one occasion in June he walked in to see Tanguay kneeling beside the teen who was sitting on his bed with his penis exposed.

Davenport contacted the teen’s mother who said her son told her Tanguay was suspended in May for an “inappropriate” relationship with him. The mother spoke with Easterseals who, she told the detective, initially denied the allegations were made or investigated, but ultimately admitted it. She was told Easterseals determined the information was “unfounded” and Tanguay was reinstated to work as a Paraprofessional II but in a different location.

Davenport reviewed Easterseals’ “Incident Review” dated May 21, 2021.   All eight employees interviewed expressed concerns about the relationship between Tanguay and the teen.  Concerns included inappropriate interactions; Tanguay purchasing items for the teen; being on premises after hours and off duty to bring him meals and packages; the teen and Tanguay being alone in her personal vehicle until 9 p.m.; Tanguay allowing him to use her cell phone for personal calls and to buy things on her Amazon account.

When interviewed, the teen disclosed that after he became a residential student, Tanguay pulled him aside and asked him if he thought she was pretty.  Soon after, she kissed him when they were alone in a classroom.  The teen said he was “so weirded out” that he went to his room instead of completing a task.  

The teen said Tanguay kissed him “way more than one time.”  She then began taking shifts in his residential unit.  Tanguay, he said, would take him and one or two other clients on “van rides” and would then engage in inappropriate sexual contact with him.  He estimated that happened on more than 20 occasions.

Tanguay, he said, also offered to buy him things if he let her perform the sex acts on him. Those included Nike sneakers, shirts and sweatpants.

He described other incidents and said Tanguay told him she’d make “his life hell’ if he didn’t comply, which scared him a little bit.

Davenport contacted Tanguay on July 27, 2021, to say she was under investigation.  On Aug. 3, 2021, Tanguay’s attorney contacted Davenport to say he had advised her not to take part in an interview.

The teen was released from the school on June 14, 2021, after his mother asked the court to do so based on the allegations. 

Tanguay was released on personal recognizance bail with conditions she not go near Gammon Academy and have no contact with any minors.