A headline-making report accused a dozen former teachers at Connecticut's Choate Rosemary Hall of sexually abusing students

By Char Adams
April 14, 2017 06:22 PM
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Credit: Choate Rosemary Hall

Connecticut police may pursue criminal charges against former teachers at an elite boarding school who are accused of sexually abusing students in incidents dating back to the 1960s, PEOPLE has learned.

Twelve teachers at Wallingford’s Choate Rosemary Hall are accused of sexual misconduct in a 48-page report prepared for the school’s board of trustees by an independent investigator hired by the institution. The report recounts the experiences of 24 alumni, alleging the former teachers sexually molested and, at least once, even raped students over a 50-year period.

Now, Wallingford police say they are considering criminal charges.

“It’s going to come into play whether statute of limitations is valid or expired on some of these cases and which ones we can further pursue,” a spokesperson with the Wallingford Police Department tells PEOPLE.

“If the victims are looking to have us investigate and, anything that is eligible to investigate, we will look into.”

School officials noted in the report that the earliest reports of misconduct they received occurred in the 1960s, while a majority of the sexual abuse reports concerned incidents in the 1980s.

The report says school officials did not report the allegations to authorities. Instead, it states, they quietly allowed teachers to resign or fired them.

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Accusations in the report include instances of “intimate kissing, intimate touching, and sexual intercourse.”

Other allegations include “forced or coerced intercourse, as well as other incidents of unwanted contact that led students to feel betrayed by faculty or staff they had trusted and admired.”

The school began examining the allegations in 2013, after two alumni alleged they had been abused as students, according to the report.

In the early ’80s, the parents of one student complained to the school after an English teacher allegedly gave their daughter herpes, the report states. In the ’90s, a Spanish teacher was fired after allegedly sexually assaulting a student during a trip to Costa Rica.

One teacher allegedly invited a 12-year-old boy to his home for a sleepover in 1983, according to the report. It turned out that the boy was the only child at the sleepover and the teen later told his parents that the teacher made “inappropriate advances” toward him.

The teacher later resigned and a school official wrote him a letter of recommendation for a graduate fellowship in Florida.

Five of the 12 former faculty members are dead, the New York Times reports.

“On behalf of Choate Rosemary Hall, we profoundly apologize,” Michael Carr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Headmaster Alex Curtis said in a letter to alumni on Thursday, Fox reports.

“We honor and thank the survivors of sexual misconduct who came forward. We extend our deepest apologies most specifically to all survivors of sexual misconduct and their loved ones.”