Boarding school probe accuses 3 more adults of sex abuse
WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) — A prestigious Connecticut boarding school has released a new report that accuses three more adults of sexual misconduct involving students.
Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford hired the Day Pitney law firm to review new abuse allegations that arose after the release of an investigative report last year that accused 12 former faculty members of sexual misconduct involving students. Neither report names any current faculty or staff.
The new investigation, led by Day Pitney partner and former Connecticut U.S. Attorney Stanley A. Twardy Jr., corroborated allegations against two former faculty members and the wife of a faculty member. Two of the three have died. The allegations date back to the mid-1960s.
Choate officials released the report Friday and apologized to all the victims in a letter to the school community.
"We also recognize that Day Pitney's letter details troubling instances where the school failed to address reports of misconduct appropriately," Head of School Alex Curtis and trustees Chairman Michael Carr wrote in the letter. "We know that our constant vigilance is required, and we have taken many steps and committed resources to protecting our community."
The three adults identified in the new report, who were not named in the previous investigation, include Robert Inglehart, who held several positions at Choate from 1957 to 1964; Bette Spencer, whose husband Jim Spencer was a chemistry and physics teacher from 1962 until his death in 1982; and Carl Johnson, a faculty member from 1969 to 2001. Inglehart died in 1998 and Bette Spencer died in 2003.
Inglehart was accused of using a measles outbreak as a pretext for inspecting boys' genitals. Bette Spencer was accused of having a relationship with a teenage boy student that including mutual fondling. Johnson was accused of having a relationship with a female student in the late 1970s, as well as telling a female student in the mid-1980s that she was his "special girl" and having sexual contact with her after she graduated.
Johnson denied having an inappropriate relationship with any student during an interview with investigators.
Day Pitney said it believed the former students who accused the three adults of misconduct.
"In general, we found the firsthand accounts to be credible even if they could not be corroborated," the firm's report said.
Choate is a private boarding school whose alumni include John F. Kennedy and actors Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.