Firm finds sexual misconduct by former Phillips Academy teacher

Samuel Phillips Hall at Phillips Academy in Andover.
Phillips Academy in Andover. –Timothy Tai/The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — A prestigious Massachusetts boarding school said an investigation has found a longtime Russian language teacher engaged in sexual misconduct toward a student in the 1980s.

Victor Svec, who worked at Phillips Academy in Andover for nearly four decades, has been barred from the campus and will not receive further benefits as a result of the findings by the independent law firm, the school announced Monday.

Svec took a leave of absence in February when the allegation first surfaced and then retired this month in the midst of the investigation.

“We are deeply sorry for the harm caused by this faculty member’s misconduct,” John Palfrey, head of school, said in a letter to students and faculty . “The Board of Trustees and I are grateful that a former student had the courage and will to come forward to recount a painful and traumatic experience that occurred decades ago.”

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A number listed for Svec’s home rang unanswered, and other attempts to reach him on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Tracy Sweet, a spokeswoman for Phillips Academy, declined to provide further details of the misconduct, saying the school wants to respect the privacy of the victim.

Sweet said the investigation into Svec was “as thorough as possible,” but encouraged anyone with a concern about possible misconduct to come forward. She said the school will look into all matters.

The Sanghavi Law Office, which was hired by Phillips Academy to investigate all claims of misconduct, did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday.

Monday’s announcement follows other allegations of sexual misconduct by former faculty members revealed in recent years by Phillips Academy, also known as Andover.

In 2016, the school alleged that five former teachers engaged in sexual misconduct toward students during the 1970s and 1980s. And last year, the academy said investigators determined there were another four cases of sexual misconduct, three involving former faculty members and one involving a student.

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Follow Alanna Durkin Richer at http://twitter.com/aedurkinricher . Read more of her work at http://bit.ly/2hIhzDb .

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