Sexual Abuse at Elite Boarding School Continued for Decades | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Sexual Abuse at Elite Boarding School Continued for Decades

The report says that in some cases, the accused faculty member was allowed "to remain at the school ... for a considerable length of time"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, April 14, 2017)

    Choate Rosemary Hall, the elite boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut, released a report Thursday detailing decades of alleged sexual abuse of students that went unreported or was handled quietly. 

    At least 12 former faculty members at the Wallingford school allegedly abused students between 1963 and 2010, according to the 48-page report by an outside investigator hired by Choate's board of trustees.

    The report says the alleged sexual misconduct included “intimate kissing,” “sexual intercourse” and “forced or coerced intercourse."

    "Certain Choate graduates described themselves as having been flattered, at the time, by attention they received from faculty or staff," the report says. "But told (investigators) they later recognized that the conduct had been abuse."

    Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

    No current faculty members have been implicated, and there are no claims relating to current students. 

    Choate released a letter Thursday to the school's community calling the report's findings "devastating."

    "The detailed content of this report is devastating to read. One can only have the greatest sympathy and deepest concern for the survivors. The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care," wrote Michael J. Carr, a chairman of the board, and Headmaster Alex Curtis.

    Choate first announced in October 2016 that it hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation after "reports of adult sexual misconduct with students" surfaced.

    Notable alumni include former President John F. Kennedy and his brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.

    Many who graduated from the school said they did not report the abuse because they either didn't realize it was abuse or didn't think an administrator would "be sympathetic," according to the report.

    "Our interviews and school records showed that sometimes the school moved quickly and decisively," the report reads. "In other cases, it was slower to respond and allowed the faculty member to remain at the school, sometimes with restrictions on his or her activity, for a considerable length of time." 

    In one case, the faculty member stayed at the school until he voluntarily retired, according to the report.

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

    "Even when a teacher was terminated or resigned in the middle of the 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," the report reads. "When told, (faculty was) cautioned to say nothing about the situation if asked."

    Choate did not file any reports to the Department of Children and Families, which is a statute required for any person or institution interacting with children, prior to 2010.