Sex abuse at New England private schools is widespread, Globe Spotlight report reveals

SPOTLIGHT - DO NOT PUBLISH WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM BILL GREENE - Newton, MA - 5/3/2016 - Fessenden School - This is a sculpture by Hilary Hutchinson, cq, on the campus of the Fessenden School in Newton, MA.  Topic: 27prepschools. Story by Jenn Abelson and Jonathan Saltzman/Globe Staff. Photo by Dina Rudick/Globe Staff.
–Dina Rudick / The Boston Globe

At least 67 of New England’s elite, private schools have faced allegations of sexual abuse or harassment at the hands of its employees since 1991, and many of the incidents were ignored or covered up, according to a Spotlight report on the front page of Sunday’s Boston Globe.

The incidents involved more than 200 students since the early 1990s, according to the Globe. At least 37 staff members have either been fired or resigned, and nearly two dozen have been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges related to child sex abuse.

The Spotlight team also found 11 cases in which allegedly abusive school employees proceeded to find work at other institutions.

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In one example, St. George’s School, at least three staffers accused of misconduct have left the Middletown, Rhode Island boarding school to work at other schools, where they were subsequently accused of additional misconduct involving children.

As the Globe reported in December, Anne Scott, a former St. George’s student, was pressured into signing a gag order about her alleged rape by the school’s then-67-year-old athletic trainer. Lawyers now say nearly 50 other St. George’s students have come forward with credible allegations of sexual abuse by the school’s employees.

At least seven other schools this year have also launched or disclosed investigations into past accusations, per the Globe. Of the 224 private schools the Globe sent inquiries to regarding their experience with sexual misconduct allegations, just 23 have replied.

To read the full story, click over to the Spotlight report here.

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