LAKEVILLE, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — For the third time in less than two years, a former student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging sexual abuse at the Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Connecticut.

The most recent one, filed by Matthew Bernstein, details allegations of systematic and brutal sexual abuse when he was a boarding student in the 1980s, WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported.

Former English teacher Christopher Simonds, now deceased, is named in the suit.

The suit alleges former English teacher Christopher Simons secually abused several students at the school, while also feeding them drugs and alcohol, Antonio Ponvert, Bernstein’s attorney said. 

“It was really a reign of terror perpetrated by Simonds under the noses of the school’s administrators for more than a decade,” Ponvert said.

Former student Peter Buck  claimed in a 2015 lawsuit that he was sexually abused and assaulted dozens of times by three school officials, Simonds, from 1982 to 1984. In that suit, Ponvert alleged other faculty knew of the assaults, but no one ever alerted authorities.

A federal lawsuit was also filed in by another former student who claimed routine abuse of students at the hands of staff, including sex assaults by the now-deceased headmaster.

Simonds has since passed away.

Ponvert says that Simonds had testified in earlier cases and had admitted “very graphically” to the sexual abuse he initiated against a dozen children.

The Indian Mountain School has called the allegations of faculty behavior back in the 80s “heartwrenching.”

The school said it plans to face these allegations.

Indian Mountain School is a private boarding and day school for children in kindergarten through grade 9.


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