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Law firm probes allegations against boarding school faculty

September 06, 2017 - 8:16 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut boarding school that earlier this year detailed allegations of sexual abuse spanning several decades has hired a law firm to look into new allegations of inappropriate behaviour by faculty members, including some who remain on staff today.

Choate Rosemary Hall said the new reports involve "boundary crossing behaviour" by a few current faculty members that took place in the 1980s and early 1990s.

In April, the school released a report on allegations of misconduct by a dozen staff members between 1963 and 2010 including kissing and sexual intercourse. Afterward, the school received additional complaints concerning past and current faculty members, and it hired the law firm Day Pitney to investigate.

"Day Pitney has now reported back to Choate that it 'has conducted its investigation into allegations against current faculty and, based on evidence developed to date, Day Pitney has found no basis to take any action against any current faculty member,'" Head of School Alex Curtis and trustees chairman Michael Carr wrote Tuesday in a letter to the school community.

The school said the firm is still investigating reported instances of sexual misconduct by former faculty members. The new investigation was first reported last week by the Meriden Record-Journal.

One of the former students who recently came forward, Amanda Hampton, said a teacher who is still employed by Choate said inappropriate things to her and attempted to start a relationship with her over a couple weeks in the 1980s. During a meal at a faculty house, she said, the man gave her Valentine's Day candies that said "Be Mine" and "Choose Me."

Hampton said she knows of three current faculty members who have been accused of inappropriate behaviour, though none are accused of sexual assault. She said she spoke out because she felt the school was not responding adequately to her concerns.

"I don't know what they're going to do with these faculty but I'm not sending my kids to Choate," she said. "I think they are looking to the future but they have a big mess to clean up with people from my era."

Famous alumni of the private school in Wallingford include John F. Kennedy, Michael Douglas, and Glenn Close.

In the letter to the school community, Choate said it had updated its sexual misconduct policies and appointed a co-ordinator in charge of overseeing the school's misconduct prevention and response efforts.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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