Report Alleges Decades Of Sexual Abuse At Prestigious Connecticut Boarding School

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — The prestigious Wallingford, Connecticut boarding school Choate Rosemary Hall has admitted to decades of sexual abuse within its halls.

As CBS2’s Erin Logan reported, a report released by a law firm investigator for the school’s Board of Trustees documents allegations of sexual misconduct against more than 12 former faculty and staff members dating back to the 1960s.

LINK: Read The Full Report

The report alleged sexual misconduct took place between 1963 and 2010. It included allegations of intimate kissing, sexual intercourse, and forced or coerced intercourse, WCBS 880’s Myles Miller reported.

The report said there were 24 student victims in all, and 12 faculty members who were accused. None are still at the school, and some of the faculty members who are implicated died several years ago.

The report notes that in some cases the school acted quickly in response to the alleged sexual misconduct but in other cases it didn’t, Miller reported.

“I can’t imagine, presented with difficult circumstances like that, how someone could’ve handled it better,” said Stewart Herman.

Herman, of New Jersey, applauded the school’s headmaster. He has two sons currently attending Choate.

“It had been publically reported that there was an investigation going on, so it wasn’t a total surprise,” he said.

In October, administrators announced that the investigation would be handled by a former prosecutor.

Now, six months later came a letter of apology to the Choate community, as well as the 48-page report. It explained what the investigator found, including graphic statements from former students.

The school acknowledged matters were handled “internally and quietly,” and said, “Choate did not make any reports to the Department of Children and Families regarding adult sexual misconduct prior to 2010.”

Ronn Torossian, president and chief executive officer of 5W Public Relations, said the public deserves an apology when mistakes are made.

“In a relatively quick amount of time, they have come out with this report,” Torossian said, “I think that in a crisis, taking responsibility is one of the most important things that you do.”

He compares this case to the another one involving the Horace Mann School, a popular prep school in the Bronx that has dealt with sexual misconduct allegations.

“Horace Mann – well, they didn’t quite do that. They kind of played the road and were not clear in terms of, ‘We made a mistake,’” Torossian said.

But Torossian believes Choate will move on from the scandal.

In a statement the school said, “We profoundly apologize. We honor and thank the survivors of sexual misconduct who came forward. We extend our deepest apologies most specifically to all survivors of sexual misconduct and their loved ones.”

One teacher named in the suit was Jaime Rivera, a Spanish teacher it fired in 1999 after he was accused of having intercourse with one student during a school trip to Costa Rica and groping another student.

The report says he was able to continue his education career for the next 18 years and was recently the principal of Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield.

He resigned last week after Choate notified the superintendent about the allegations.

Rivera denies the allegations.

Choate has also set up an independent therapy fund providing resources to victims.

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