, Newburyport, MA

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March 20, 2013

Former private school teacher accused of student rape

Accused, now 70, lives in Newburyport


"Defendant Elefante used her position and her authority as a teacher to identify, and to groom, potential victims. The professional medical literature relating to young males who are abused by adult females emphasizes that they are unable to understand that they are being victimized by perpetrators who have used them for their own sexual pleasure.

"During 1992-1993, defendant Elefante groomed and sexually assaulted the plaintiff John, in essentially the same way in which she had assaulted students in the 1980s. (She) attempted to cloak her assaults on the plaintiff John and others as appropriate acts of interest or affection by a superior toward her students. ... (She) instead, was engaging in a recognized grooming process, used by sexual predators to lull their victims and make them compliant."

John didn't understand that he was being raped and sexually abused by Elefante for her sexual pleasure or that he had been harmed by this conduct until two years ago, according to the lawsuit. That's when Pike's Head of School John M. "Muddy" Waters said he had fired Elefante after allegations of her involvement with the student came to light.

“Upon first hearing of this in 2011, Muddy immediately met with Ms. Elefante and she acknowledged only that she had provided advice and support to this particular alumnus while he was at Pike,” Waters and Andrew Chaban, chairman of the school’s board of trustees, wrote in a letter to the Pike School community last month.

“She confirmed that their relationship continued after he left Pike and that, in fact, the relationship developed into a sexual one,’’ the letter continued. “As a result, Muddy made a decision to terminate Ms. Elefante from further employment at Pike.’’

But the lawsuit filed today alleges that Elefante's sexual affair with the student began while he was still at the Pike School. The frequent sex involved masturbation, oral genital contact and vaginal intercourse. The sex took place in Elefante's Andover home, her car and later in John's dormitory room at Groton

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