Former NH substitute teacher accused of sexual assault

CLAREMONT, N.H. (WCAX) A former school employee in Claremont, New Hampshire, is charged with sexually assaulting a student.

George Caccavaro

The alleged victim is an adult student with special needs. WCAX News does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. But we do know the female victim was attending Stevens High School at the time of the incident.

We also know the man accused of the crime worked at the school for years and has deep ties to the community.

"I want the community to know that we take all reports seriously and we are going to do everything we can to get to the bottom of their case," Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase said.

According to court documents, George Caccavaro, 78, attended weekly field trips with the victim. On one of these trips off school grounds, police say Caccavaro grabbed the victim's buttocks and rubbed his groin against her while they were hugging. The incident was witnessed by more than one person.

Police say Caccavaro told them: "Two people saw it, so how could I sit here and say it didn't happen. I'd be straight out lying." He later admitted that he knew what he did was wrong.

After a monthslong investigation, Caccavaro turned himself in to police.

"When someone has cooperated in an investigation, when we file charges and when we have enough information that we have file and affidavit and completed an arrest warrant, we will let them know that they can turn themselves in and that, in fact, did happen in this case," Chase said.

Caccavaro worked at the school as a substitute teacher for about two years. He was fired from his job as a paraprofessional when the allegations first came to light back in February. He now faces two counts of sexual assault.

A statement from SAU 6 Superintendent Michael Tempesta reads, in part: "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."

If convicted of the misdemeanors, Caccavaro faces up to two years behind bars.

"When a crime like this happens, people can be held accountable and these charges are being filed in a court and now that person has due process," Chase said.

Caccavaro served as mayor of Claremont for two years during the late 1980s. Most recently, he worked in the business office at the nearby Newport School District but we are told he announced his resignation there Monday.

Caccavaro is due in court Dec. 2.