Londonderry Teacher Charged with Indecent Exposure and Lewdness

Update July 26, 2010

Read “Melinda Dennehy Pleads Guilty, Jail Sentence Suspended” the plea was entered at 9:30am in Derry District Court.

Press was gathered in the Londonderry Police Department in Londonderry, NH, this morning, for a Press Conference regarding the arrest of a Londonderry High School teacher. Chief of Police Bill Hart and School Superintendent Nate Greenberg entered the conference room to find approximately 15 cameramen and journalists awaiting the start of the Conference. As opening statements were made, Bill Hart announced that 41-year-old Melinda Dennehy turned herself in this morning to Londonderry Police on one count of Indecent Exposure and Lewdness. Against New Hampshire RSA 645:1, this is considered a Class B Felony. The maximum punishment for such an act is up to seven years in a NH State Prison and a fine of $4,000.

She was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bail and is due to be arraigned in the Derry District Court on April 30, 2010 at 8:30 AM. Along with other restrictions, Dennehy is to have no contact with anyone under the age of sixteen and was delivered a trespass order that will keep her off of all Londonderry School grounds. She was placed on an administrative leave on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, and, when the ongoing investigation is complete, school officials will determine if further disciplinary actions will be needed.

According to officials, Dennehy provided the student, a 16-year-old male student that attends the High School, a “digital transmission” that went against RSA 645:1. They would not comment on whether this student was one of her own, or just of the school, or what the content of the picture was.  An Affidavit released this afternoon to the media following the conference indicated that she was exposing herself in the digital image.

Assistant Principals took immediate action on Wednesday, when they suspected something. They called the Police Department who, within one hour of the initial report, became involved. Once involved, Police Department officials worked closely with the schools to ensure the safety of the other students. For now, they are not releasing information to the students, as this is an ongoing investigation.

Dennehy has been a Sophmore English Teacher at Londonderry High School for three years. This was her first teaching job. There were no former complaints against the teacher and, upon applying for a job with the Londonderry school system, she underwent a thorough background and reference check; this is the standard procedure for all new employees.

To listen to the complete live audio of this press conference, press play or download the audio.  The audio includes questions from the media, and answers from Superintendent Greenberg and Chief Hart.

Audio Player located at the end of the story.

We will continue to provide the facts, when more are released.

Arraignment will be on March 23rd, 2010 at 8:30am in the Derry District Court.

The Londonderry police would encourage any one with information in the investigation to contact either officer Adam Lane or Detective Kris Gore at (603) 432-1118.

To read the Press Releases by Nathan Greenberg and Bill Hart, both issued after today’s Conference, the Affidavit or for the definition of RSA 645:1, click read more.

PRESS RELEASE

Nate Greenberg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2010

This is not just a criminal matter, but it is also a personnel matter for the Londonderry School District. Due to it being a personnel matter, I am not at liberty to comment on the particulars of this incident, including the allegations and charges. Needless to say, we will continue to conduct our own investigation and will take any action deemed warranted by our findings. As always, the safety and wellbeing of the children of our community will be given our highest priority. Accordingly, on Wednesday the teacher was placed on administrative leave with pay.

PRESS RELEASE

Bill Hart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2010

The Londonderry police department has arrested Melinda Dennehy, 41, of Hampstead. Mrs. Dennehy has been charged with one felony count of indecent exposure in violation of NH RSA 645:1 II(b). The case remains under active investigation. Mrs. Dennehy was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail, subject to certain conditions. Her arraignment is scheduled in Derry District Court for April 30 2010 at 8:30.
The Londonderry police would encourage any one with information in the investigation to contact either officer Adam Lane or Detective Kris Gore at (603) 432-1118.

New Hampshire RSA 645:1 definition:
Indecent Exposure or Lewdness
I. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if:

  • Such person fornicates, exposes his or her genitals, or performs any other act of gross lewdness under circumstances which he or she should know will likely cause affront or alarm.

II. A person is guilty of Class B Felony if:

  • Such person purposely performs any act of sexual penetration or sexual contact on himself or herself or another in the presence of a child who is less than 16 years of age.
  • Such person purposely transmits to a child who is less than 16 years of age, or an individual whom the actor reasonably believes is a child who is less than 16 years of age, an image of himself or herself fornicating, exposing his or her genitals, or performing any other act of gross lewdness.
  • Having previously been convicted of an offense under paragraph I, or of an offense that includes the same conduct under any other jurisdiction, the person subsequently commits an offense under paragraph I.

III. A person shall be guilty of a class A felony if:

  • Having previously been convicted of 2 or more offenses under paragraph II, or a reasonably equivalent statute in another state, the person subsequently commits an offense under this section.

Information from http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/lxii/645/645-mrg.htm

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Brad Gagne

    … she sent a naked photo of herself to a 16 year old boy and somehow thought it wouldn’t be distributed? FAIL.

  2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1This is wrong.

    This is very wrong. She should have known better than to send pictures of herself to a student, close the same age as her own children. I hope she has learned her lesson, and I feel bad for her children.

  3. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1PT

    excuse me? you “hope she learned her lesson”???? you’re kidding right? Slap her on the wrist and call it a day? if this had been a male teacher, people would have been ready to put him in jail and throw away the key. If she is found guilty, she should receive the maximum punishment. What the heck was she thinking?????

  4. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1CommentMaker

    Her husband, is a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx yyyyyyyy.

    web address removed

    I wonder how their dinner conversation is going this evening?

    ed. name and information removed. We have published all the information released by the police department. The case is still under investigation. The Londonderry police would encourage any one with information in the investigation to contact either officer Adam Lane or Detective Kris Gore at (603) 432-1118.

    Thank you for the conversation, we appreciate your sensitivity to an open case. It was important that the complete available details authorized and when released by the LPD, were published. From discovery to arrest was less than 48 hours, they have more work to do.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Glenn Douglas

      Is dragging the rest of the family into this mess really necessary?

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1John

    My God! Why the hell would anyone drag her husband into this mess? What she did is a crime and that should be obvious to all…but her husband did nothing but his buisness information is posted on Londonderrynh.net. Gimme a break….somebody please take it down! NO NEED AT ALL!!!!!!

  6. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1rich

    well I know this isn’t politcally correct and yes if this were a male teacher he’d be hung out to dry.
    I know if a good looking teacher would have had sex with me while I was in HS, I would have gone for it…

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1NoName

    The double standard may not be correct, but it is a reality in society. I’d like to know if there are any studies comparing the lasting effects of such a thing (young student having sex with a teacher) on boys vs on girls.

    Don’t get me wrong – this is disgusting and she should be punished to the full extent of the law. I’m just acknowledging that there is a gender difference.

  8. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Goose

    Come on folks. Our society has not evolved out of the double standards that have been with us from the dawn of time. If a teenage guy is sexually active, he’s looked up to. A stud, etc… If a female does the same thing, she’s a whore. If a teenage boy is sexually involved with an older woman (such as a teacher) he’s the envy of all his buddies. If a girl does this, she’s a victim of this lecherous cad. Is this double standard fair? No. Is it a reality? Yes. Without getting into the fact that this woman is married (committing adultry), most guys would consider the 16-yr-old one lucky dude. NOT the victim of a crime.

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1tom k.

    um, melinda could i get your number???

  10. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Budgy

    This is wrong for certain and while there is no defense of– or for wrongness.I still have as much love for the truth.Albeit.The Teacher misconducted herself–”MORE” Boys AND Girls “hit on teachers” than many people dont’t want–or refuse to face up to.In essence–when a student “comes on” to a Teacher–a wise Teacher will first–reprimand said student THEN report it to the Principle AND Parents.This does NOT imply that this was the case this time but it happens.Teachers are supposed to rise above this kind of temptation from students but what I have said here remains to be true.I attended School in the 1950,s and students inducing Teachers to become intimately involved with them and Teachers inducing Students to become intimately involved with the Teacher was well known but all was said or done about it was small town gossip and whispering.What this ALL means is the Teacher is not ALWAYS completely at fault “BUT” once more–they KNOW better and should NEVER become personally involved with ANY student of ANY age.Our local community colleges strictly FORBIDS any teacher involvement with Students irrespective of WHAT age the Student– or Students is.And YES–Adult Students.For the LAST time then.Miss Denehey was WRONG and that seals the deal.She MUST pay the price but if it were in MY hands She would NOT be banned from Teaching because of what I have said in this post.There is MORE to ANYTHING than meets the eye and I STRONGLY suspect that the “Boy” had a big part of this.If not–then HOW did she send these pics without him KNOWING she was going to? These “Kids” of today KNOW just as much about adult life as many adults if not MORE.”YOURS” to.Like it or not.

  11. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Kevin

    I know what she did was “illegal”, but when I was 16, and had a chance to be with an “experienced” women I sure would of kept it our little secret, and told no one!!!!!!!

  12. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ace

    This is very sad!

  13. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1danny

    I get so sick and tire of the double standards that are out there! She knew damx well that what she did was srong! When are people and society going to get that? If you women want equal rights? Then take the good with the bad! You want to perv? Then take the punishment! these double standards have got to stop!

  14. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bob

    It’s good to know teachers are showing an interest in they’re students

  15. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1NotMe

    These teens now-aw-days are so dum… i would have told no one, enjoyed the pictures and hopefully, tried 2 get some xxx if possible…lmao. It couldnt have been me…fa sho…. this is a teens dream from a male perspective….such a sad story. This kid is a flat out a dummy… For certain, it wasnt a black kid who told… Advice for female teachers who like teens, ” get wit the black teens”….. see no evil her no evil… lmao

  16. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lee

    The statute states “Under the age of 16.” to be a fleony. he’s 16 so it should only be a misdemeanor if anything.

  17. Vote -1 Vote +1Mr. Bigglesworth

    When are people in this country going to realize that as long as everyone is consenting these are completely natural interactions. The ability to consent is not limited to a legal definition. One doesn’t magically obtain the ability to responsibly consent on the first day of one’s 18th year any more than they did on their 16th year albeit slightly more experienced. The current reactions by the Public only serve to destroy at least one person’s life and traumatize the other. The attraction between an older and younger person is natural. We are making the basic function of our biology a crime. Is it any wonder people are so screwed up in this country? My God! I had crushes on at least two of my teachers when I was 16yo. By calling Dennehy a pervert are we implying by proxy that students with reciprocal feelings are perverts as well?

    Professionally, she completely disregarded her position and the authority of her superiors. But, beyond that, this country completely over-reacts to otherwise benign situations. If I had a 16yr old son I’d rather him be seduced by an older woman than what national media coverage and mandated psych-evals and therapy are going to do to the young man in this article that will follow him the rest of his life.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Gary Gnuu

      well said!

    2. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1noway

      And I suppose when this woman that seduces your son, the love of her life, and produces your grandchild, that you’ll, naturally, be the first to tell your 15 year old kid that he now has to drop out of school, get a job, and start changing diapers. Because that’s what naturally occurs. And I suppose another natural reaction is when the cuckolded husband divorces his adulterous, pregnant wife creating another split household–that’s good and natural too.

      And let’s not forget about the repulsive teacher that holds a kids grades over their head and coerces the sexual relationship but threatens the kid to say he or she consented. I guess that’s natural too. The kid ‘agrees,’ but actually doesn’t.

      Why don’t you just buy your son some hooker time? That’s natural too.

      I don’t want paid, supposed professionals using high schools or grade schools for their sexual entertainment, love, or because they’re personal lives are lacking in some way. And the only way to put a dent in it is to have meaningful consequences for ignoring laws that tell you ‘we don’t want you doing this whether the kid agrees or not.’

  18. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Gary Gnuu

    If only Adam & Eve would have left that forbidden fruit alone. We could all be enjoying the photo now with no charges. Oh but wait, we cannot talk about religion in school. But what we can talk about is government. Next up… looking forward to the government putting a cell phone age restriction on kids. A phone that doesnt have a camera, no internet access, wont work while driving and cannot connect to the opposite sex. Can only dial three numbers… 911, mom and dad. Ticket fine will be hundreds of dollars per incident outside these laws. Then while your paying the fines your child racked up we will all remember that day we should have just pulled the teacher in to suspend or fire her rather than making a public mockery of the whole ordeal. Like Jack Handy says… Its hard to fly like an eagle when I am surrounded by so many turkeys.

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1Sonya

    I think what she dis is WRONG and yes she should be punish for it, but I also think education starts at home if parents are providing a good education at home why are kids today having sex at age of 12 if not earlier, and why do a 15 or 16 years old “Kids” know more about sex than an adult and having kids at 14?, what is really wrong with this planet? I was always taught that education started at home, but let’s blame it on a simple thing call TECHNOLOGY since kids spend more time on the internet and cell phones than doing more important things. Only we can make a difference by paying a little more attention to what our kids are really doing.

  20. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jim

    I’m with you Rich and kept my mouth shut.

  21. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Michelle

    I feel really sorry for her. She made a mistake and now she is being crucified. Does anyone know what forgiveness is? Was this boy truly injured? I mean yes it was a bad mistake on her part. But dang!

  22. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1NoName

    Michelle, take a moment to put together the same exact scenario in your head….imagine all the details just like they are…but the teacher is a man and the student is a girl.

    Do you still see yourself writing this?: ….I feel really sorry for him. He made a mistake and now he is being crucified. Does anyone know what forgiveness is? Was this girl truly injured? I mean yes it was a bad mistake on his part. But dang!

    The law is the law, and cannot be subjct to social double-standards.

  23. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Doug

    Mrs. Dennehy was my teacher, she was the shiz. I know the kid who she sent the pictures too, hes a tool. free dennehy.

  24. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mark

    first it was Arraignment will be on March 23rd then April 30th then it was moved to June 28th or 29th. So what happend was she convicted or was it postponed AGAIN. postponing over and over wont make us all forget what the pedifile did

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Jacklynn Weeks

      The probable cause hearing for the case was moved to late July; we believe July 26.

  25. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mark

    “The probable cause hearing for the case was moved to late July; we believe July 26.”
    How many times can you postpone a court date in NH it seems like they are trying to keep this child molesters case hidden from the public because the monsters sex happens to be female. I feel if this was a male teacher he would have already been covicted. insted of atiny $10,000 bail and warnings. is this woman under house arrest? or allowed to roam freely through the community.

  26. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Jaffo Neer

    Poor boy. He should have cashed in that chip. Any 15 year old boy can use tutoring of the sort Melinda offered 6-12 times a day.

  27. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mark

    well another sexual preditor/pedofile is free to roam and commit more acts with your kids NH. good going

  28. Vote -1 Vote +1Paul

    Its true if the situation were reversed and the teacher was a male and the student was a female, man everyone would look at him diffrent and hxxx he would be in jail in a fxx heartbeat, the Law is just so messed up peeps does anyone see my point of view here?

    Edited for content

  29. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1lac

    I would have to say that the 15 year old boy who got the nude text is a moron. He had a cool thing with his teacher and he had to go and ruin it. A hot teacher sending nude texts is something that goes beyond winning the lottery. I am sure in time he will regret spoiling a good thing.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

      Hey DUDE, for your and all of our sakes, I hope that your summer’s long drug enduced haze is gone by the first day of school.

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