Choate Rosemary Hall Acknowledges Decades of Sexual Abuse

Katrina Soto
April 15, 2017

The elite Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school in Wallingford, Conn., said at least 12 teachers sexually molested or raped students in abuse dating back to 1963. His victims, the report said, were a 15-year-old female student who he is accused of fondling and a 17-year-old student he is accused in the report of raping in a swimming pool.

"Even when a teacher was terminated or resigned in the middle of the year because he or she had engaged in sexual misconduct with a student, the rest of the faculty was told little and sometimes nothing about the teacher's departure", the report reads.

Claims of abuse include "intimate kissing", "sexual intercourse" and "forced or coerced intercourse".

Choate is the latest in a string of private schools, including St. George's School in Rhode Island and New York City's Horace Mann and Poly Prep schools, that have faced accusations that faculty members have abused students. In some cases, the report says, the school "allowed the faculty member to remain at the school, sometimes with restrictions on his or her activity, for a considerable period of time". The report noted, however, that many students did not report the misconduct after it allegedly took place and school officials only learned of the allegations years later.

On Thursday, the school released a letter to the school's community calling the report's findings "devastating".

The greatest number of reports concerned "incidents in the 1980s, with roughly half that number in the 1970s and 1990s, and with significantly smaller numbers in the 1960s and 2000s", the report said. The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: "the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care", write Michael J. Carr, chair of the board of trustees and Headmaster Alex Curtis.

The report names the 12 former faculty members and details substantiated reports from male and female students.

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The report said that "he denied that he engaged in sexual misconduct with any Choate students" when investigators interviewed him last month. Individuals interviewed by investigators said the school cited the protection of faculty members, potential risks to the school, the impact on affected students and their parents' concerns for privacy as a reason for following this approach.

Cheyenne Montgomery graduated from Choate in 1992 and said she was abused by two different teachers there, she told the Times. He then went to teach at the Kent School where he stayed till his retirement in 2013. "We received a handful of reports of sexual misconduct in the 2010s". None of the incidents were reported to authorities.

In a statement, Choate said "we profoundly apologize".

"We honor and thank the survivors of sexual misconduct who came forward".

Alleged witnesses, all former students, told investigators that the teacher began touching her sexually before removing his shorts and forcing her to have sex in the vicinity of other students. The student reported the incident to the school, which investigated it and and initially made a decision to continue employing Timlin with conditions that he move out of the girls dorm, where he was an adviser, and meet with a psychiatrist, according to the report. The alleged assaults occurred while the teacher was the on-site Choate faculty leader of a study overseas program in San José, Costa Rica.

The teacher was sacked for "just cause" after the incident, but continued to teach at other schools, the report said.

Other reports by My Hot News

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