Sexual abuse at boarding school went on for decades

Sexual abuse at boarding school went on for decades

Twelve former faculty and staff members at an elite CT boarding school who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with students that went on for decades were named in a new report.

Jaime Rivera is among 12 former faculty and staff members named in the Choate report released Thursday accusing them of sexual misconduct while at the Wallingford school, whose famous alumni include John F. Kennedy, Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Ivanka Trump.

A report to the school's Board of Trustees written by independent investigator Nancy Kestenbaum details incidents of sexual abuse including "intimate kissing", intimate touching, "sexual intercourse" and "forced or coerced intercourse".

He denied any sexual misconduct and even recalled telling administrators at the time, "If I did something that bad, I honestly would remember it", the report said.

School officials noted in the report that the earliest reports of misconduct they received occurred in the 1960s, while a majority of the sexual abuse reports concerned incidents in the 1980s.

"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.

Lorraine Connelly, the school's associate director of communications, said in a statement that "Choate pledges to take ongoing steps to be at the forefront of the highest possible standard of care in preventing and addressing sexual misconduct". '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'. The student reported the incident to the school, which investigated it and and initially chose to continue employing Timlin with conditions that he move out of the girls dorm, where he was an adviser, and meet with a psychiatrist, according to the report. Individuals interviewed by investigators said the school cited the protection of faculty members, potential risks to the school, the impact on affected students and their parents' concerns for privacy as a reason for following this approach.

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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. None of the incidents were reported to authorities.

Following the presentation of the report, the school released a letter to the Choate community that says, in part, that "the detailed content of this report is devastating to read". A report by a Boston lawyer said the school became a "private hell" for dozens of students. The report says he denied the allegations.

Alleged witnesses, all former students, told investigators that the teacher began touching her sexually before removing his shorts and forcing her to have sex in the vicinity of other students.

The New York Times reported that the report said that teachers had sexually molested and in at least one case raped a student. The student did not report the incident to the school until her 10-year reunion in 2013.

Police were never notified and in some cases teachers were allowed to resign and then given letters of recommendation. The student's parents complained to officials and Lyman left the school at the end of the school year.

Senior girls previously asked one faculty member to the dinner, a tradition that was started about 30 years ago to give faculty members a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of students.

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