Cobb Will Not Return to Jail, N.H. Judge Rules

A New Hampshire judge ruled on Monday that former Phillips Academy English teacher David Cobb will not have to return to jail for refusing to participate in a sex offender course. The district attorney for Strafford County, N.H., Janice Rundles, filed the court hearing requesting Cobb’s return to jail for refusing to participate in a sex offender program. Cobb’s lawyer, Paul Haley, said, “His original sentence recommended [Cobb] go to a sex offender program.” This program was a condition of parole during Cobb’s time in jail, but Cobb opted to stay in jail for 11 years of his sentence instead. Fauver wrote, “While the sentencing judge may have assumed the program would be completed, it was not mandated as a condition of parole…While this court in no way suggests that the completion of the [sex offender program] would not be advantageous and further societal interests, it, nonetheless, is not free to modify the sentence at this stage of the proceedings.” Cobb refused to participate in the sex offender program because he feared further accusations, and the course would require him to admit to being a sex offender. Cobb was a teacher at Andover for 27 years, until he was arrested in New Hampshire on three counts of kidnapping on August 22, 1995. He was later officially charged with one count of attempted sexual assault and hundreds of counts of child pornography. Following Cobb’s arrest, letters were sent to alumni and parents informing them of the situation. In a letter dated September 11, 1995, Head of School Barbara Chase wrote, “On August 31 [1995], I found it necessary to terminate David Cobb’s employment as a member of the faculty… For all of us at the academy, this is a sad turn of events. Mr. Cobb was a creative and popular English teacher at Andover.” Cobb’s trial resulted in conviction and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was released earlier this year on June 22. The decision reached by the judge will require Cobb to return to court on June 22, 2008. At this hearing, if Cobb has not committed any crimes since, there will be an “affirmative motion to suspend his sentence,” said Haley. Cobb now lives in South Dennis, Mass.., where he is a registered sex offender.