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Ojai, CA - The Thacher School Accused of Sexually Abusing of Teens

the thacher school faces accusations of sexual abuse
Published: June 29, 2021
By: Janean Cuffee
Last Updated on June 29, 2021

The Thacher School Accused of Sexual Abuse of Students for Decades

According to The New York Times, numerous accusations against several faculty members at The Thacher School for sexually abusing students.

The accusations against Thacher faculty, highlighted by The New York Times, is extensive:

  • A teacher allegedly raped a 16-year-old female student and continued to abuse her for at least a year. The teacher allegedly became violent and once threw her across the room, and she was knocked unconscious.
    • When the student reported the abuse to the headmaster, he asked for specific details and asked if she "enjoyed" it.
  • Students reported inappropriate touching by a headmaster
    • When the headmaster was drunk, he would allegedly touch girls on their buttocks and thighs.
  • Two former students reported being sexually assaulted by male students. When reported to the head of the school, Michael Mulligan, he allegedly told them "they did not have a leg to stand on because they did not do enough to stop the boys," according to the report, stated by The New York Times.
  • One former college counselor allegedly groped a student

The report named six former faculty members. The students interviewed by investigators claim their complaints made to the school and administrators were met with shame and indifference. The chair of the Thacher board of trustees stated it is clear the board, faculty, and administration failed to protect the students in the report.

The Thacher School has apologized for previous sexual abuse. No charges have been filed as the investigation is underway to determine which cases are within the statute of limitations. 

Michael E. Pfau
Hi, I’m attorney Mike Pfau. I’m a lawyer here in California and if you or a loved one were injured in an accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options. Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
(888) 997-3792

Legal Options of Victims Sexually Abused by a School Employee

Attorney contributor Mike Pfau, an experienced sexual assault attorney, licensed in California, has worked with numerous victims sexually abused by a school employee in civil lawsuits. Below, we asked Bobby to share his legal insight on the options of victims abused sexually at school.

"Administrations have a legal duty to uphold the safety of enrolled students and do their best to provide a safe learning environment. Sadly, across the country, many cases of teacher sexual assault have surfaced. Unfortunately, sexual predators seek out positions of authority over students to gain power and students' trust to abuse them sexually. Schools and administrations should run background checks to ensure the faculty being hired are trustworthy and qualified. Additionally, schools should implement safeguards, such as cameras, guards, and reporting systems, to ensure all students' safety."

"When a student is abused sexually by a teacher, the victim should question whether the school did its best to prevent the abuse from occurring. If a school did not implement adequate safeguards, it might be deemed liable for the abuse in a civil lawsuit. The school and administration may be considered liable due to negligence. An example of negligence is if abuse was reported and ignored or not properly investigated. Students who have been abused should secure the services of an experienced sexual abuse attorney to explore all their legal options. Nonetheless, victims and their families should know that in cases of negligence, they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the school."


The New York Times

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About the Author
Janean Cuffee
About Janean Cuffee
Editor: Janean is an NYU Applied Psychology major with a double minor in history and sociology. As a NY native, she focuses on highlighting important legal news regarding violence, assaults, and social justice cases. Contact Janean: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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