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Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul

“Sexual abuse in education is the clergy-abuse crisis of this decade, if not this century…”

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/06/16

From The New York Times:

The scope of a sexual abuse scandal at St. George’s School in Rhode Island widened substantially on Tuesday as lawyers reported that at least 40 former students had made credible reports of sexual abuse, and in some cases rape, by seven former staff members and four students over three decades.

At the same time, a spokesman for the school, which had made public its own investigation late last month, now characterized that investigation as “preliminary” and said that it would soon name who would be carrying the investigation forward. “The work remains ongoing,” the school said in a statement.

Lawyers for the victims said that the abuse took place from 1974 through 2004. Four of the seven former staff members are still alive, and in at least two cases appear to be working in settings with young people. None have been charged criminally.

Together, the school’s report, which said that staff members sexually abused 26 students in the 1970s and ’80s, and the lawyers’ reports of some 40 total victims, paint a picture of unchecked sexual misconduct at the elite prep school in Middletown.

“The magnitude and scope of this is already approaching the largest private school sexual abuse case that we’ve seen, which was at Horace Mann, where 62 victims came forward,” said Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who, with Carmen L. Durso, is representing some of the victims. The accusations at the Horace Mann School came to light in 2012.

Capt. Matthew Moynihan of the Rhode Island State Police confirmed an investigation into accusations forwarded by the school and by the lawyers, and said the police were encouraging anyone to come forward who was either a victim or a witness. The school is an Episcopal boarding and day school for boys and girls in grades nine through 12.

And there’s this significant detail:

The lawyers and three of the victims said at a news conference here that the school’s report presented a sanitized version of sexual abuse at the school, which they likened to that of the Roman Catholic Church; although some of those accused of the abuse were fired, the school has acknowledged that it did not report suspects to the authorities or alert their subsequent employers.

“Sexual abuse in education is the clergy-abuse crisis of this decade, if not this century, and you’re going to see more and more of it,” Mr. Durso said.

Read more.

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