After Hearing, Haverhill Latin Teacher Remains on Unpaid Leave, Still Must Stay Away School

Haverhill High School Latin teacher James “Jay” Fiorentini Jr. at his arraignment. (Pool photograph by John Guice, WHDH Channel 7.)

Haverhill High School Latin teacher James “Jay” Fiorentini Jr. remains on unpaid leave and, despite a judge relaxing some restrictions this week, the Haverhill school administration said Thursday he is still not allowed on school property.

Fiorentini is accused of “annoying/accosting” two students during a May 4 incident—details of which remain impounded at Newburyport District Court.

“His presence remains restricted from our school buildings,” school Superintendent Margaret Marotta said, responding to an inquiry by WHAV. She added, “He remains on administrative leave. The court order did not impact our process.”

The son of Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini was arraigned in July on the charges before Judge Mary McCabe in Newburyport District Court. Absent a police report, the only description of the incident came last month from Assistant District Attorney Michelle Belmonte, who wrote in support of impounding the report, “While the alleged acts are not defined as per se sexual assaults, the behavior involved is certainly of a sexualized nature.”

In July, defense attorney Stephen Neyman of Boston questioned the validity of the charges. “It is my belief that in the age of social media there would be a lot more witnesses to an event like this particularly when there’s 15 to 18 students present at all times in the classroom. Somewhat dubious allegations under the circumstances,” he said.

The case was continued until Wednesday, Nov. 29, for “discovery compliance and jury election.”

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