An investigation by the Boston Globe has brought to light decades-old allegations of sexual abuse allegations at St. George’s, the prestigious boarding school here in Middletown, RI, and apparently has caused school officials to send a letter to alumni dated November 2nd saying they had received “multiple credible reports of sexual misconduct at the school, ranging from unprofessional behaviors to outright sexual assault” by former employees.
The allegations were first raised by Anne Scott, a student who attended St. George’s in the late 1970’s. At the time Scott, 15, was repeatedly raped by Al Gibbs, a 67-year-old athletic trainer on the staff at St George’s. Four other girls made similar sexual assault accusations.
St. George’s fired the trainer in 1980 but did not report the assaults to law enforcement.
In a $10 million lawsuit filed against the school in 1989, St. Georges attorneys fired back saying that Ms. Scott could have been lying or had consensual sex with the trainer. (Remember she was 15 at the time of the assaults and therefore not legally capable of providing consent)
School attorneys also sought to change it from a “Jane Doe” case and reveal Scott’s real name. “Maybe people will come forward and say the plaintiff is a, with all due respect to those in the court, has a tendency to lie, and that would be relevant, also,” said defense attorney William P. Robinson III of the Providence firm Edwards & Angell. (In 2004, Robinson was appointed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Robinson did not return calls from the Globe.)
In a statement on their website, St. George’s writes:
For nearly a year St. George’s School has been engaged in an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by school employees in the 1970s and 1980s. We have kept our community up to date on this important and difficult process in letters sent to all alumni in April, August, and November. Throughout our investigation the school has been committed to seeking the truth without reservation, and to supporting and assisting any and all alumni who were harmed. We began this process because it was the right thing to do. Today, as the investigation nears its end, we remain steadfast in our efforts to help our alumni address any wounds from long ago.
Today, St. George’s has 365 students in Grades 9 through 12 and charges $56,000 annual tuition for boarders.
Head on over to the Boston Globe for the entire story.