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Ex-‘teacher of the year’ charged in 1973 prep-school sex assault

Arthur Peekel, a former Illinois teacher of the year, is accused of sexually assaulting a prospective student while he worked at a New Hampshire prep school in 1973. | Exeter, N.H., Police Department photo

A former Illinois “Teacher of the Year” has been charged with sexually assaulting a prospective student back in 1973 when he worked in the admissions office of Phillips Exeter Academy, an exclusive New Hamplshire prep school.

Arthur Peekel, 74, is a former Rolling Meadows High School teacher now living in Palatine, the Daily Herald is reporting.

Allegations against Peekel were first made public May 6 by the Boston Globe in a report on child sexual abuse in private schools in the Northeast.

University of North Carolina-Greensboro art professor Lawrence Jenkens told the Globe that he was a 14-year-old prospective Exeter student when Peekel fondled him.

Peekel was the 1991-92 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

He surrendered on Friday to the Exeter, N.H., police. The Exeter police said Peekel faces two misdemeanor charges of sexual assault. He was released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond. Hhe agreed to have no contact with minors, and also to surrender his passport and sign a waiver of extradition.

Jenkens told the Daily Herald that he spent two nights at Exeter in 1973 as a prospective student. The first night he slept in a dorm. But on the second night, he said, Peekel told him there was no space in the dorms, so he offered Jenkens a cot at his apartment. The cot was next to Peekel’s bed, Jenkens said, and that’s where the sexual assault occurred.

Read the rest of the Daily Herald story here.