Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Sexual misconduct at boarding schools has become a pandemic. Some estimates show that ten percent of all students from kindergarten to high school experience inappropriate sexual conduct by an employee, faculty member, staff member, volunteer, coach, or others during their young life.

Most inappropriate sexual activity involving predators occurred at a school event, the facility, or away from campus. About one in six incidents involve non-contact, including online activity.

Twenty Percent of Sexual Predators in Schools are Coaches

Most sexual abuse offenders are white males with an average age of thirty-six. About one in five sexual abusers at public and private schools are coaches. Less than ten percent are art music teachers, and nearly half have had a prior allegation filed against them.

Nationwide, the average prison sentence for an abusive predator caught, prosecuted, and sentenced is forty-seven months. Over half of all convicted predatory abuse felons must register as sex offenders.

More than half of all minor sexual abuse victims are female, with an average age of fifteen. Nearly two-thirds of the victims were high school ethnic students that work at an economic disadvantage.

Officials Destroying Evidence

In some cases, public or private boarding school officials attempt to destroy the evidence to save face and prevent extensive and costly molestation and sexual assault cases. In many cases, the predator is allowed to remain on paid leave during the legal process until the abuse case has been finalized.

It is usually only after the predator has been found guilty of abuse by the jury that they must resign from their position at the school.

Fortunately, experienced personal injury attorneys have resolved many lawsuits that have given sexually molested victims justice and financial compensation for their damages.

Many predators have lost their teaching credentials and licenses to ensure they never have access to vulnerable students in school settings.

A Boarding School Sexual Assault Attorney Can Help

Did a sexual predator victimize you? If so, you still have legal options. Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 to discuss what happened during a confidential, free case evaluation. Let us investigate independently to find evidence, gather witness testimony, and build a sex abuse boarding school compensation case.

Public and private boarding school and prep school students are highly vulnerable to sexual abuse and molestation by educators, counselors, boarding school administrators, and fellow students.

The boarding school educational officials could be held legally liable if any student under their care is sexually abused by an employee, teacher, staff member, or anyone else.

When the School Enables the Predator

Unfortunately, over the last few decades, educational institutions across the United States have faced abuse allegations involving child sexual harassment and assault among employees, staff members, and administrators at well-known boarding schools.

Some inappropriate school sex events were reported in New England, specifically in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire, concerning molestation at Christian and private schools.

Sexually Abused Years Ago

In December 2020, the Boston Globe published an article [1] concerning a former Portsmouth Abbey private school student alleging she was sexually assaulted by a teacher years before. At the time of the alleged assault, the male predator was a forty-eight-year-old teacher at St. George’s School, a Rhode Island boarding school, and the sexually assaulted student was a fifteen-year-old sophomore.

A report by the Associated Press stated that a St. George’s School former student filed a civil case years after the statute of limitations expired, claiming that the Abbey failed to protect the young student and instead protected themselves while giving the young girl poor legal advice.

Keeping the Scandal Contained

The plaintiff’s case stated that the Rhode Island boarding school administrators “wanted to keep the potential scandal contained and commenced to do so by ‘steering” the plaintiff to use the school-approved outside consultant to ‘help’ her out of this predicament.”

The young sexually abused victim had grown close to her Humanities teacher, stating that the relationship was “sort of filling avoiding giving me some of the praise and support that I was used to getting at home.”

The lawsuit states that although the sexual abuse lasted for years, the Catholic Church, school administration, and staff members never investigated the spreading rumors.

The school sexual abuse victim stated that “there was not a lot of desire to follow up. People did not want to deal with it.”

In 2019, the Rhode Island legislature [2] enacted a law that extended the statute of limitations to file a civil lawsuit against predators charged with sexual abuse of students. The victim filed a civil case after the predator continued to harass her through emails. No criminal case had been filed.

Predatory Behavior and Grooming

Many boarding schools operate in small community that provides safety on a secure campus for boarders. Educators, administrators, facility staff, and others are often familiar and closer to students than at other public and private schools.

Predator Tactics

The predator uses tactics that include:

  • Trust –Boarding school abuse predators can build a trusting relationship between the student in themselves through group activities involving school employees, other students, and former students
  • Reliance – As the student’s trust builds, they start relying on the abuser through gaining affection and attention. The predator might provide their victims with valuable gifts that might involve higher grade marks, money, or presents.
  • Isolation – A part of the grooming process nearly always and violence isolates the victim away from the boarding school’s campus community through tutor sessions, after our get-togethers, individualized sporting activities, or tailored religious learning.
  • Sexual Interaction – Over time, the predator can desensitize their school sex abuse victims to repeated inappropriate touching, kissing, caressing, or other closeness that will eventually extend to sexual activity. A relationship that once involved only talking and touching could advance to sexual crimes, including sexual intercourse, sodomy, or oral sex, where the victim lives in a private hell for months, years, and decades after the abuse occurred.
  • Maintenance – Once a school sexual predator has established an intimate relationship, they begin maintaining the interaction through continual control that might involve shaming, guilt, threatening, and secrecy to ensure their victim knows that they are unique and desired

Boarding Schools Child Sexual Abuse Involving Teachers

Teachers, employees, staff members, parents, visitors, and other students should report abuse in public and private schools. However, the state and federal governments mandate that administrators and school owners report inappropriate sexual activity involving students.

Any failure of school teachers and officials to report sexual abuse in boarding schools could lead to criminal charges and civil litigation. However, schools are not required to share child abuse information with other educational institutions across the country.

A lack of sharing data means that the sexual predator dismissed for inappropriate activity could become a teacher at a different facility that was never informed of any abuse allegations.

The predatory teacher could take another job at a different school in their state, or across state lines, without other teachers, school faculty, or parents being aware of their unacceptable behavior.

Boarding Schools Keep Quiet About Sexual Abuse

Boarding schools and their administrators are often encouraged to keep quiet about what happened and sweep the sexual abuse issues under the rug when dismissing the teacher for wrongful behavior.

The educational institution’s administrators and owners could avoid civil litigation when passing the sexual abuse boarding school problem onto another school while saving the school’s reputation.

However, this action violates school policy in providing a duty of care to all children and places students in harm’s way. The predatory school teachers have easy access to vulnerable students.

Identified 1000s of Predators of Sexual Misconduct

This serious sexual abuse problem reaches across the country. A USA Today report [3] in twenty sixteen identified the “fundamental defects in the teacher screening systems used to ensure the safety of children in the nation’s more than thirteen thousand school districts.”

The article identified the failure of many states and publicly identified thousands of teachers who had been disciplined due to inappropriate sexual behavior.

This major cover-up involved many public and private schools and insufficient background checks on every staff member, teacher, and employee.

The article revealed that the United States Department of Education likely contributed to the nationwide sexual assault cases in boarding schools.

School Abuse Victims Face Lifelong Challenges

Even one incident of inappropriate sexual activity involving a targeted student can create lifelong challenges for the victim. Many predators use tactics that have feelings of shame and guilt in the victim, who likely blame themselves for what happened and never reported it to the proper authorities.

In some cases, public and private school administrators become aware of what happened and fail to take appropriate measures to stop the behavior and protect the sex abuse victim.

Instead, once the assault is known, school sex abuse victims are often subjected to rumors, intimidation, and social pressure involving retaliation, alienation, or bullying by educators, staff members, and administrators.

As a result, many sexual abuse victims transfer off campus to avoid further social persecution and isolation. Only a small number of former school students will report the sex abuse years after the abuse occurs. Life-altering, severe personality changes impact nearly all.

Many child sexual abuse survivors experience the ongoing effects of assault that involve anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, insomnia, suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide), and challenges associated with maintaining healthy relationships.

Our boarding schools’ sex abuse attorneys have experienced heartbreaking consultations with students of sexual abuse. We listen carefully to the student’s stories about how the sexually inappropriate behavior of others caused them physical and mental harm.

Our law firm takes great steps to ensure that sexually abused children harmed in private and public schools are never alone in holding their abuser legally responsible for what they did.

Have you, or a loved one, suffered abuse by a sexual predator? Contact the boarding school abuse injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

You may be entitled to receive financial compensation for the private schools’ inappropriate sexual conduct even years after the abuse occurs. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to discuss your legal options.

Our legal team is ready to seek justice and fight aggressively on your behalf to hold boarding school staff members, teachers, coaches, educational officials, educators, fellow male or female students, or former school students accountable.

Learn about child sexual abuse in the following private and public schools by following the link below:

Our law office is also investigating cases involving:

  • Santa Catalina School
  • Dunn School
  • Midland School
  • Cate School

Resources: [1] Boston Globe, [2] The Providence Journal, [3] USA Today

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