Grantee podcast exposes widespread culture of sexual assault in addiction treatment programs

With more than 100 interviews and scores of documents, New Hampshire Public Radio created a seven-part podcast that looks at why it’s so difficult to hold people accountable for sexual misconduct in the addiction treatment industry. With support from the Fund, Lauren Chooljian and her colleagues investigated claims that the founder of New Hampshire’s largest privately-run addiction treatment network was sexually harassing or assaulting women who worked or received care at his facilities (allegations that he denies). There were multiple acts of vandalism at the homes of NHPR journalists involved in initial reporting about the allegations, and their families, chronicled by The New York Times, which called it “a striking example of the perils facing news organizations in an era when politicians regularly demonize journalists and some judges want to curtail the First Amendment protections that the press has long enjoyed.”  Three men have been charged in the vandalism, and prosecutors say they were “solicited” to commit the crimes by an unnamed “close personal associate” of a New Hampshire businessperson, whom NHPR, The New York Times and the Associated Press have identified as the founder of the addiction treatment network who was the subject of NHPR’s reporting.