Sexual abuse at boarding school went on for decades


NY attorney Nancy Kestenbaum had been hired to investigate claims that staff had sex with their students at the institution.

Connelly said the organization noted the strength of Choate's current confidentiality, amnesty, retaliation, and mandatory reporting policies as well as progressive training and education for students. Allegations involve both male and female former faculty, though no present faculty were mentioned in the report.

Bradley said the department didn't initiate its own investigation prior to the release of Kestenbaum's report Thursday because "we didn't have any complainants come to us".

The report states, "Although Choate did not provide a reference or recommendation letter for Rivera, he taught or worked as an administrator at schools including Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury, Connecticut; Harrison (New York) High School; and Newtown (Connecticut) High School".

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". "We recognize that other terms, like "sexual abuse", "sexual harassment", or "rape", might also be appropriate in describing certain incidents discussed in our report". The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: "the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care", the school officials wrote in the letter.

Last year, Choate established an independent therapy fund to assist alumni who experienced adult sexual misconduct at Choate. We hope that through this report, our community can address the issue of adult sexual misconduct in a frank and direct manner.

Choate Rosemary Hall, a private boarding school in Wallingford, Conn.

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The school was attended by Ivanka Trump, John F. Kennedy Jr. The letter, which was sent to alumni, was signed by Michael J. Carr, chairman of the Choate board of trustees, and Choate Headmaster Alex Curtis.

Hughson says the man's death has not been solved, and is asking anyone with information about his death to come forward so his family can heal.

"When an educational facility has this knowledge of improper sexual conduct and doesn't report it to the police and allows the continued employment of the educator, in my opinion, the educational facility is at fault", Fishbein said.

The most recent incident mentioned in the report happened in 2010, when former faculty member Charles Timlin acknowledged he kissed a former female student, 16 at the time. Another student said that in late 2000, she reported to the school that Cobbett kissed her and while an administrator considered having him resign, he stayed at the school for another decade. According to contemporaneous accounts, one of the students said she and the teacher were in the pool, when he "told her he and his wife were separated (and said, ) 'I have these problems".

Another student claims he found Rivera in the midst of "thrusting" into the young girl, and yanked the teacher away from the girl. A former student at upstate private school the Emma Willard School recently revealed she was gagged and raped by a teacher in 1998.

Most horrific is the complete lack of action on the part of the administration-not a single incident was reported to the police.

None of the schools was notified of the allegations until Choate informed the superintendent of the Wamogo district last month, just before Rivera-Murillo was placed on leave.