Lakeville, Connecticut – Report Finds 16 Student Victims of Sexual Abuse at The Hotchkiss School

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Entrance to the Hotchkiss School

The entrance to the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. 7 former staff members have been accused of sexual abuse.

7 Former Hotchkiss School Faculty Members Accused of Sexual Misconduct

One of New England’s most prestigious boarding schools issued an official apology on August 17 after an independent investigator determined that seven former staff members at the Hotchkiss School had sexually abused students between 1969 and 1992.

Sexual misconduct allegations at the elite Connecticut school ranged from inappropriate touching to unnecessary gynecological exams to rape. At least 16 students were found to have been sexually abused at the school over the course of three decades.

The report also found numerous cases where former administrators were notified of possible sexual misconduct but failed to get involved. Specifically, the report mentioned the school’s failure to properly respond to reports of misconduct by Leif Thorne-Thomsen, who was a classics teacher at the school from 1964 to 1992. The report says Thorne-Thomsen preyed on “vulnerable” girls and even married two of his former students.

Other faculty members named in the report include:

  • Christopher Carlisle – English teacher from 1963 to 1982
  • George DelPrete – Athletic director and history teacher from 1970-2004
  • Dr. Peter Gott – Medical director from 1972-2005
  • Albert Sly – Choral director, organist, and music teacher from 1950-1970 and 2008
  • Ronald Carlson – English teacher from 1971-1981
  • Damon White – English teacher from 1983-2012

Carlise, Gott, and Sly are all deceased.

Legal Recourse For Survivors of School Sexual Abuse

Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is an experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyer. Here are some of his thoughts on how filing a lawsuit can help survivors of child sexual abuse:

In many cases, survivors of child sexual abuse struggle with their trauma for years or even decades. It’s normal for survivors to hesitate to come forward and tell the authorities about the sexual abuse they were subjected to. Unfortunately, this means that in some cases, sexual predators avoid criminal prosecution because the criminal statute of limitations has passed. However, in Connecticut, survivors still have the right to file a sexual abuse lawsuit for 30 years after their 18th birthday.

Even in cases where the perpetrator is prosecuted, a lawsuit can help hold third parties accountable for enabling sexual abuse. For example, schools who mishandle reports of sexual misconduct could potentially be held liable in a sexual abuse lawsuit. Taking legal action against these third parties can help demand accountability, provide financial support for survivors, and potentially protect others from suffering sexual abuse in the future.

If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse and are curious about your legal options, we highly advise speaking with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.

Location of the Hotchkiss School

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2018-08-23T12:13:04+00:00

About the Author:

Brian Kent, Esq. is a partner at Laffey, Bucci & Kent. Brian is nationally recognized as a leading attorney victims' rights lawyer. He has represented several clients who have been injured because of criminal actions of another including, sexual abuse cases, hit by drunk driver cases, and negligent security cases.

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