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Former student files lawsuit against Kent School, alleges sexual abuse

May 18, 2017

By Register Citizen Staff | The Litchfield County Times  KENT, CT -- A former student from Kent School filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the school, alleging she was sexually abused by a married teacher.

The plaintiff attended Kent School from 1987 to 1990, where she alleges the former teacher used his authority and influence to gain her trust and later exploited that trust to sexually abuse her.

The woman claims the sexual abuse took place from 1987 through 1988 and occurred at numerous locations on and around the school’s campus, including in the teacher’s on-campus housing, his car and various off-campus locations in the town. This newspaper is withholding the woman’s name as it is our policy not to name victims of sexual assault.

The complaint also alleges at least one other teacher knew about the sexual abuse while it was happening and failed to report the information to the appropriate authorities, which would be a violation of Connecticut’s mandatory reporting law.

After the administration knew about the sexual abuse, the teacher left to teach at different institution and Kent School supposedly provided no support to the student, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiff asserts the school subjected her to punishing criticism, verbal reprimands and hostile treatment from staff and students who were aware of the sexual misconduct.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiff has been seriously psychologically and emotionally injured, as a result of the sexual abuse and the treatment by staff and students during the aftermath. The complaint contends the sexual abuse has negatively impacted most parts of her life.

She is seeking damages against the school in an amount greater than $15,000, according to the lawsuit.

Kent school officials did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

The plaintiff is represented by Paul Slager and Jennifer Goldstein of Silver Golub & Teitell in Stamford and Paul Mones of Los Angeles.

“Our client hopes that by coming forward she will help give comfort and a voice to other boarding and private school students who have been sexually abused to let them know that they are not alone,” said Mones in a statement. “The recent numerous news accounts suggest that the problem of sexual abuse at private boarding schools has been widespread.”

While this is the first known filed case of sexual abuse at Kent, the case comes on the heels of several other lawsuits issued in recent years against private schools in Litchfield County.

Since 2014, three former students have filed separate federal lawsuits against Indian Mountain School, a private boarding school in Lakeville, claiming sexual abuse and molestation during their years as students.

As of 2015, two different lawsuits were filed by former students against The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school in Washington, asserting they were sexually assaulted as students.

In 2015, another federal lawsuit was filed against The Hotchkiss School, a different private boarding school in Lakeville, alleging he was raped by a teacher and sexually assaulted by multiple students.

And just weeks ago, an investigation found that students from Choate Rosemary Hall, a prestigious boarding school in Wallingford, were subjected to decades of sexual abuse by staff members.

Slager and Mones encourage any witnesses or individuals, including former Kent students, to contact them with any knowledge of the allegations in the lawsuit.

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