Report alleges sexual assault at Choate Rosemary Hall - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Report alleges sexual assault at Choate Rosemary Hall

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Sexual assault allegations were reported at Choate Rosemary Hall (WFSB file photo) Sexual assault allegations were reported at Choate Rosemary Hall (WFSB file photo)

Sexual assault allegations were reported at a prestigious Connecticut prep school in a recently-released report.

A new report details claims of "bad behavior" at Choate Rosemary Hall, which is a private, college preparatory in Wallingford.     

That 48-page report contains allegations that former faculty and staff members sexually abused students and kept working while the school kept things quiet.

The report to the board of trustees documents at least 12 former faculty members that allegedly sexually abused students between 1963 and 2010.

Eyewitness News has chosen "not" to name any of the people involved because they have not been charged with a crime.

Choate Rosemary Hall has some notable alumni John F. Kennedy, Ivanka Trump, actor Michael Douglas, actress Glenn Close, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, actor Paul Giamatti and playwright Edward Albee

"It's a prestigious school and a lot of famous people,” Judy Soprano, of Wallingford, said.  

In 1971 the all-girl Rosemary Hall and all boys Choate School merged forming what it is today.

On Thursday, the school released what they called a devastating" report of sexual misconduct by former teachers on former students. 

No current students or faculty are involved in the report.

"Quite astonished you know, I mean it was a long time ago though,” Simon Jimenez, who is a student at Choate Rosemary Hall, said. “I feel like we've changed as a school and I'm glad that they released this because I think that we're just bettering ourselves as a school."

A private law firm was hired to put the report together in 2016. Within it comes disturbing details from Choate graduates.

"They described choate faculty and staff engaging in acts with them that included intimate kissing, intimate touching and sexual intercourse,” the report states.

It also cites the fact that the school often dealt with reports of sexual abuse "internally and quietly" many times without including police.

"Last night I know Chief Wright had met with Choate administration, at which time they gave him a copy of the report,” Wallingford Police Lt. Cheryl Bradley said. “He is currently reviewing that report, and he's going to determine if there is anything we can follow up on the criminal investigation side."

Many former students didn't report the abuse at first, be it heterosexual or homosexual.  For the former teachers involved, some continued their careers in education or were able to resign months later.

“It's very difficult especially with sexual misconduct because we're looking at a more complex system and the statute of limitations that are in place. It's not just a simple two-year or five-year minimum. It's more complex,” Bradley said. “It depends on ages and what was the statute of limitations at the time the incident occurred.”

Victims must also come forward to police to pursue criminal charges. So far none of the 24 included in the private report have come forward to police.

"It's just sad, I think it's sad but not surprised,” Soprano said. “I'm just glad that women have an outlet that they never had before and they have places to go get help and it's a shame."

Choate Rosemary Hall said they are “releasing the full contents of an independent investigator’s report consistent with its commitment to transparency and its pledge to be at the forefront of the highest standard of care in preventing and addressing adult sexual misconduct.”

“On behalf of Choate Rosemary Hall, we profoundly apologize. The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care. We honor and thank the survivors of sexual misconduct who came forward. We hope that through this report, our community can address the issue of adult sexual misconduct in a frank and direct manner. Throughout this self-examination, our goal has been to come together as a community to provide validation and support to those who suffered from abuse, to learn from the past, and to live up to the core standards outlined in Choate’s Statement of Expectations,” Choate Rosemary Hall said in a statement sent to Eyewitness News on Friday.

Choate has established a therapy fund and organized with the rape, abuse, and incest national network to provide a hotline to alumni. 

For the full Choate community letter and full report, click here.

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