Three more arraigned in Eagleton School case

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PITTSFIELD >> Three more former Eagleton School staff members have been indicted on assault charges connected to the investigation into abuse allegations that ultimately led to the school's closure.

That brings to 13 the current total of people who have been arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on charges connected to abuse allegations at the school.

The latest to appear are Derrick Saunders, 42, Martin Schmitt, 46 and Justin M. Senecal, 27.

Allegations of student abuse prompted a January raid of the campus of the school for boys and young men with special needs in which about 50 law enforcement officers participated.

The school shut down for good in mid-April after the state revoked its license to operate. Former staffers face a variety of charges from assault and battery to witness intimidation and caretaker abuse.

Saunders, Schmitt and Senecal were arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Thursday before Judge Maureen Hogan.

Saunders pleaded not guilty to one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person and caretaker abuse on a disabled person. He's alleged to have assaulted a student between April 1 and April 30, 2014.

Schmitt pleaded not guilty to three counts each of assault and battery on a disabled person and caretaker abuse on a disabled person and one count each of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury and threatening to commit a crime. He's alleged to have assaulted three students between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015.

Senecal pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a disabled person and one count of caretaker abuse on a disabled person. He's alleged to have assaulted a student on July 11, 2013.

They were released on personal recognizance, with the condition they have no contact with the alleged victims in their cases and have pretrial hearings scheduled for Sept. 29.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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