Sex charges against former school superintendent dismissed

CATS Academy Boston.

CATS Academy Boston.

A sex solicitation charge filed against a former private school administrator in Braintree was dismissed on Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the Worcester District Attorney’s office.

The charge against Steven Bliss, who is also a former public school superintendent in Southbridge and Dover-Sherborn, was “dismissed without prejudice,” spokesman Paul Jarvey said in an interview Tuesday.

A separate charge of human trafficking was dismissed on Nov. 30 at the request of prosecutors because, “We have been unsuccessful in our attempts to contact the victim,” Jarvey said.

Bliss, the former head of CATS Academy Boston in Braintree, was arrested in September for allegedly offering to engage in sex for money with an undercover police detective at a McDonald’s in Worcester.

A lawyer for Bliss said the dismissal of the charges vindicates her client.

“This brings a four-month ordeal to the close we always knew would come based on charges that were entirely baseless,” Frances A. King of Boston wrote in a statement issued Tuesday.

Her client “will vigorously pursue all civil actions legally available to him in the dual interest of setting the record straight and holding all governmental agencies and individuals in the case responsible for their actions,” King said.

CATS Academy, a boarding school that caters to international students, placed Bliss on paid administrative leave following his arrest, but he has since resigned, according to King.

Bliss served as superintendent of Southbridge Public Schools for two months in 2015, before resigning for an undisclosed medical condition.

He also was superintendent of Dover-Sherborn public schools from 2013 to 2105. He was a finalist to lead the Braintree Public Schools in 2015.

King said Bliss is “eager to resume his work in the field of education, a career he enjoys immensely, and in which he has made many contributions.”

Originally published in The Boston Globe on Jan. 4, 2017.
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