Retired Island teacher accused of indecent assault on 18-year-old

Leo Frame, Jr. (left) represented by attorney Robert Moriarty, was arraigned Friday in Edgartown District Court. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Updated 11:40 am Monday, September 2, 2013

Leo Frame Jr., recently retired after 23 years as a business teacher at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, was arraigned on two charges of indecent assault and battery in Edgartown District Court Friday. He is accused of sexually assaulting an 18 year old former student.

The court entered not guilty pleas for Mr. Frame. He was released after posting $500 bail. Presiding Justice H. Gregory Williams ordered him to stay away from his accuser, to stay away from all Island schools, and to have no unsupervised contact with any females 18 or younger, as conditions of bail.

The former teacher and community leader said nothing in court. He stood with his head bowed during the short arraignment proceeding.

The student, who police requested not be identified, told police she considered Mr. Frame a mentor during her years at the high school. According to the police report, Mr. Frame, 65, of Edgartown invited the 18-year-old 2013 graduate to his house on June 27. During that visit, Mr. Frame briefly touched her inappropriately, according to the report.

Three days later, Mr. Frame asked her to come to his house again, this time to help tutor another student. When she arrived, there was no one else in the house. The victim told police Mr. Frame began to remove her shirt, and repeatedly touched her inappropriately in a way that left her confused and afraid.

According to the police report, the victim’s mother told police Mr. Frame repeatedly called and texted the young woman following the incidents, but she did not respond. The victim’s mother told police that more recently Mr. Frame approached her daughter where she worked. The victim’s mother notified police on August 28.

Police arrested Mr. Frame at his house the next day. Mr. Frame declined to answer questions from investigators during an interview at the police station.

“I briefly described both incidents and asked Frame if he wished to speak with me,” Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby wrote in his report. “Frame asked if he spoke with me about the incident would he still be arrested. I advised him that he was already under arrest and that was not going to change. He said that he should get an attorney because it didn’t happen and declined to make any statements.”

Defense attorney Robert Moriarty said Mr. Frame is looking forward to his day in court.

“Mr. Frame denies these accusations,” Mr. Moriarty wrote in an email to The Times. “We intend to hold the government to its burden of proving these accusations beyond a reasonable doubt. I am confident that the government will be unable to shoulder that burden.”

Mr. Frame and his wife, Janice Frame, an art teacher, retired from teaching at the end of the 2012-13 school year and were acknowledged in the school graduation ceremony.

Mr. Frame is the founder and leader of Young Brothers to Men, a group that mentors leadership skills among young African-American students.

In 2011, he was honored for his service to community by the NAACP of Martha’s Vineyard.

This article was updated to add comments from defense attorney Robert Moriarty.