Sexual abuse at boarding school went on for decades

15 April, 2017, 02:31 | Author: Michele Stevens
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At least 12 former faculty members at the elite CT boarding school Choate Rosemary Hall engaged in "substantiated instances of sexual misconduct" with students dating back to the 1960s, the school said in a new report.

The school said it released the report to fulfill its "pledge to be at the forefront of the highest standard of care in preventing and addressing adult sexual misconduct". The investigator, a former federal prosecutor with the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, named only those whose actions could be substantiated through interviews and records.

The school has retained the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or RAINN, an organization that combats sexual violence, "to review Choate's existing policies and practices regarding sexual misconduct", Connelly said. "Ms. Kestenbaum's report notes that in some circumstances, Choate acted swiftly and decisively in response to reports of sexual misconduct, but in others it did not".

The investigation found that reported sexual abuse at the school was often handled "internally and quietly".

The report adds that Choate kept the incidents quiet.

"We profoundly apologize", Choate said in a statement acknowledging the findings. The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: "the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care", a chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael J. Carr and Headmaster Alex Curtis wrote in the letter.

"We honor and thank the survivors of sexual misconduct who came forward". 'Throughout this self-examination, our goal has been to come together as a community to provide validation and support to those who suffered from abuse, to learn from the past'. Many consider the school to be an important part of the town's history.

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Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald Trump, also attended the prestigious school. In 2015, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said the school's distinction and worldwide reputation is also "beyond compare".

The Choate report found that the school knew that faculty members engaged in "intimate kissing" and "intimate touching" with male and female students, but reported none of the incidents to police.

The report comes after a series of sexual abuse scandals at other exclusive New England boarding schools, including Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire; Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; and St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island. "We received a handful of reports of sexual misconduct in the 2010s".

The report claims that it spoke to many former graduates who said they either did not report the abuse because they didn't realize it was abuse or because they did not think an administrator would "be sympathetic".

The alleged abuse highlighted by the report varies widely, ranging from inappropriate touching and kissing to sexual intercourse.

Timlin was previously reported by a female student in his 2002-03 English class. The student did not report the incident to the school until her 10-year reunion in 2013.

William Cobbett, a faculty member from 1969-2010, was accused by a student of physically and emotionally coercing her into a sexual relationship in the mid 1990s, but she never reported the incident. One of her abusers left Choate at the end of the school year and later worked at Kent, another prep school in CT. "When told, (faculty was) cautioned to say nothing about the situation if asked".


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