2017-10-11

Ex-New Jersey education official admits to historical Lunenburg sex charge

by Keith Corcoran

A former senior educator in New Jersey admits to indecently assaulting a male in Lunenburg back in the 1970s.

Brian David Fogelson, 64, a resident of Venice, FL, changed his plea to the sex charge on October 2 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Bridgewater. Prosecutor Sarah Lane told LighthouseNOW the remaining two charges - buggery and gross indecency - will be dealt with when Fogelson is sentenced in December.

A presentence report, a document to help aid a presiding justice decide on penalty, will be prepared prior to Fogelson knowing his fate.

Fogelson committed the offence between January 1975 and December 1976.

He's also accused of committing an indecent assault and an act of gross indecency on a different male in the Annapolis Valley village of Kingston between January 1975 and December 1977.

He's pleaded not guilty to those allegations and the provincial court trial is ongoing with arguments scheduled to take place this month as to whether or not the Crown can call rebuttal evidence.

Fogelson retired in 2015 as superintendent and chief education officer of a Blairstown, New Jersey-based school district. He returned to Nova Scotia two months after a provincial prosecutor said he was seeking Fogelson's extradition.

Fogelson was a teacher in Lunenburg and Mahone Bay for several years before returning to the U.S. where he's from. His education career has spanned four decades, and he was named top superintendent in New Jersey's Warren County in 2015.

The police investigation that focused on Fogelson also had links to another man who's already served prison time for indecently assaulting a teenage boy in the 1970s during a time when that offender worked as a music teacher in the Annapolis Valley.

Fogelson and the individual were Princeton, NJ choir college grads and Fogelson was known to visit him at least twice a year.

Lunenburg district RCMP received information in 2012 about allegations of sex offences dating back to the 1970s. Charges were laid in 2015.

"It's our belief that Mr. Fogelson became aware of the investigation once his co-accused was arrested, investigated and charged in the Annapolis Valley," then-provincial Crown attorney Lloyd Tancock told Bridgewater court in June 2015 when the potential for extradition was on the radar.

The allegations against Fogelson raised public interest south of the border, with published stories appearing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey media following LighthouseNOW's exclusive story.

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