Investigation Into Elite Boarding School Finds Decades Of Alleged Sexual Abuse

Photo: Choate Rosemary Hall Boarding School.
An internal investigation at an elite Connecticut boarding school found decades of alleged sexual abuse by faculty members from as far back as the 1960s. Put together for the school's board of trustees, the report claims at least 12 former teachers sexually assaulted students at Choate Rosemary Hall.
The New York Times covered the investigation on its front page Friday, revealing that the report names the 12 accused educators, though only seven are still living. The former teachers were accused of "intimate kissing," "intimate touching," and, in one case, rape.
The Boston Globe published accusations of sexual abuse at Choate and other elite schools last year, and Choate hired an investigator from a private law firm not long after. The newly published report was written by that investigator and claims school officials starting looking into reports of sexual abuse in 2013 after two former students alleged they experienced "sexual misconduct" while at the school.
One case explained in the report took place on a school trip to Costa Rica, when a Spanish teacher allegedly raped a 17-year-old after drinking with students. School officials were notified of the alleged assault by students and went to Costa Rica the following day to look into it. The teacher was ultimately fired, but continued working at other schools until he recently resigned after being contacted by the Choate investigator. He denied any sexual misconduct, according to the report.
The report also claims the school continuously covered up allegations and reports of sexual abuse, handling everything "internally and quietly." It claims, "Even when a teacher was terminated or resigned in the middle of the school year because he or she had engaged in sexual misconduct with a student, the rest of the faculty was told little and sometimes nothing about the teacher’s departure and, when told, was cautioned to say nothing about the situation if asked."
Multiple elite private schools have been in the spotlight for sexual assault scandals in recent years. St. George's in Rhode Island investigated three former employees for alleged abuses in 2015; Poly Prep in New York settled a lawsuit in 2012 over claims the school covered up a football coach's alleged sexual assault. A student from St. Paul's in New Hampshire was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting another student, and the school was accused of ignoring harassment the girl faced for reporting the assault.
In a letter to the school community, Choate's headmaster and the chairman of the board of trustees said, "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."

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