The Waterville Police Department has reopened its investigation of Waterville Senior High School Principal Don Reiter after two former students of Reiter in New Hampshire alleged inappropriate relationships with him while he was principal there.

One student said she had sex with Reiter during her senior year of high school or just after she graduated. The other said she had an inappropriate relationship with him, and police were given 147 pages of letters purportedly from Reiter referencing the relationship, according to Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey.

The decision to reopen the investigation was made public shortly before 2 p.m. Monday, about five hours before the Waterville Board of Education voted to dismiss Reiter as principal. The board rejected a suggestion by the school district’s attorney to reopen evidence in the case related to Monday’s new information and instead went into a 90-minute executive session before coming out and voting to dismiss Reiter.

Reiter taught social studies at Mascenic Regional High School in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, beginning in 1998. He was chairman of the social studies/foreign language department and an assistant principal before leaving in 2004.

Waterville police Detective Sgt. Bill Bonney went to New Ipswich on Friday and spoke with the student who alleges she had a sexual relationship with Reiter.

Bonney also spoke with another student who alleges Reiter had an inappropriate relationship with her when she was 17. Bonney spoke with that woman’s mother as well, Massey said in a press release Monday afternoon.

The mother confirmed the relationship based on letters written to that student, allegedly by Reiter, when she was at the high school, Massey said.

On Saturday, Bonney received 147 pages of those letters, which appear to be from Reiter, based on his name on the address line, to the then-17-year-old. The letters frequently refer to his love for her and their “‘taboo’ relationship, a kiss that they shared and other very personal comments,” according to the press release.

Reiter, 44, of Mount Vernon, is accused of calling a student into his Waterville Senior High School office Aug. 27 and asking her for sex. Melissa Hewey, attorney for the school district, said last week at a dismissal hearing for Reiter that he said to the student, “Every year I choose one student to have sex with, and this year I’ve picked you.”

Reiter had been on paid administrative leave since then. The Waterville Board of Education went into executive session at 5:30 p.m. Monday to decide whether the principal should be dismissed — as recommended by Superintendent Eric Haley — or reinstated in the job. The two days of earlier hearings totaling 12 hours were held last week, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Reiter and his attorney, Gregg Frame, deny the Waterville allegations. They say the student placed her hand on Reiter’s thigh and said, “I find you very attractive.”

In an interview with the Morning Sentinel Nov. 3, Frame said, “Not a single person I spoke to spoke poorly of Don’s leadership and character.”

Bonney was at a conference in southern Maine Thursday and was approached by a former Mascenic student who said she had friends who had inappropriate relationships with Reiter when he was at the New Hampshire school, according to Massey’s press release.

Bonney was also contacted Thursday by two former students at Mascenic High who alleged or said they were familiar with inappropriate behavior that Reiter allegedly engaged in while at that high school — behavior “substantially similar to that alleged by the Waterville victim.”

On Thursday, Bonney spoke to the former student who alleged the inappropriate relationship. On Friday, he also spoke with staff at Mascenic.

On Saturday, Bonney learned the Morning Sentinel also was receiving tips regarding the New Hampshire allegations. Bonney contacted Massey about the tips the Sentinel received, and Massey called the Sentinel Sunday to confirm police were looking into the allegations.

On Monday, New Ipswich police contacted Bonney requesting Waterville police forward their reports to their office for review and possible action, according to Massey’s release. Meanwhile, Bonney told Massey Monday that he needs to interview two more Mascenic students regarding the allegations against Reiter.

Before being hired as Waterville Senior High School principal in May 2007, Reiter was principal of Buckfield High School for three years.

Reached Monday, Mascenic School District Superintendent Ruthann Goguen read a prepared statement: “We are unable to comment on personnel matters of past or present employees or on potential police investigations at this time.”

She confirmed that Reiter worked for the school district from 1998 to 2004, first as a social studies teacher and then as assistant principal at Mascenic Regional High School.

Haley placed Reiter on administrative leave with pay Sept. 1. Haley and Assistant Superintendent Peter Thiboutot conducted an in-house investigation into the allegations. Haley on Oct. 7 recommended to the Waterville Board of Education that Reiter be dismissed from his job.

The board held dismissal hearings in the case over two days last week. Reiter could have asked for a closed hearing but decided to have it in public.

Most of the two-day hearing was held in private. The brief public portion included opening statements and testimony by three character witnesses for Reiter.

The board’s official hearing officer, Bryan Dench, also the attorney for the board, said federal and state law mandates that student records and anything derived from student records that could identify a student must be kept confidential.

Waterville police conducted a separate investigation into the allegations and on Sept. 25 forwarded their report to the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said she will wait to make a decision about what to do with the case until after the Waterville Board of Education makes its decision.

The seven-member school board, all women, interviewed all the witnesses in the case and voted Monday to dismiss Reiter.

Earlier Frame said if the board voted to dismiss Reiter, he would file an appeal in Kennebec County Superior Court within 30 days, and at that time the paperwork related to the hearings would become public with the name of the student who made the allegations kept private.

Reiter’s wife, Terri, filed for divorce two weeks after Reiter was placed on leave and asked that the court filing be kept confidential, but a District Court judge ruled that the paperwork was public.

Frame and Reiter said she was on their list of witnesses who would support Reiter, but they were not sure if she would testify.

Massey is asking anyone with information about the case to call Bonney at 207-680-4700.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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