CT student files lawsuit alleging school fostered sexual abuse environment

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LAKEVILLE, Conn. — A class action lawsuit filed Monday against a private boarding and full-day school in Connecticut alleges that the school had “an environment rife with abuse” at the hands of its staff, including former teacher Roy G. Smith Jr. It was alleged that he encouraged the and an athletic trainer.

The complaint filed on behalf of plaintiff Mark Moe and other male students at Hotchkiss School in Lakeville alleges that Hotchkiss not only failed to protect students from Smith, but actively protected and enabled him. He claims to have been able to do it.

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The complaint alleges that Mr. Smith had a “clear and consistent pattern of abuse and behavior,” and that since at least the 1970s, Hotchkiss University officials have reported that Mr. Smith drugged, raped, and otherwise sexually assaulted students. Although he knew he was accused of sexual assault, he said he was “authorizing the sexual assaults of known sexual abusers.” It will remain its staff and faculty for decades. ”

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Hotchkiss was aware of Mr. Smith’s inappropriate touching of the genitals and sexual abuse of students posing as tutors, yet gave Mr. Smith access to thousands of students. These include claims that the government did not intervene for 30 years while providing The lawsuit also claims that when a student reported allegations of abuse by Smith, the school expelled him instead of reprimanding him.

According to the newspaper, the lawsuit asks the court to remove classes for all Hotchkiss student-athletes on Hotchkiss sports teams for whom Smith served as an athletic trainer, or for all Hotchkiss male students who visited Smith’s on-campus apartment for “tutoring.” I’m asking you to certify it. Lawsuit.

That could allow other survivors to come forward with claims for damages against Hotchkiss, the lawsuit alleges.

Moe, whose name is a pseudonym, says in the lawsuit that she hopes this “will pave the way for others to come forward and more easily hold schools accountable for the abuses they inflict on them.” He said there was.

“Instead of ensuring a safe community, Hotchkiss betrayed the trust of students and exposed them to an environment that was dangerous for young people,” said Annika, a survivor representative and partner at Leaf, Cabraser, Hyman & Bernstein. K. Martin said. said the head of the firm’s Survivor Advocacy Practice Group in a news release Monday. “Students were supposed to be able to focus on their education without fear of sexual abuse from teachers.”

Like Moe, Martin, who has represented other survivors who have filed personal claims against the school, said, “I hope this lawsuit opens the door for other Smith survivors to come forward more easily.” I look forward to it,” he added.

According to his obituary, Smith was an English teacher at Hotchkiss School. He retired in 1995 after his 30-year service with the school as a coach and trainer as well.

Smith died in 2015 at the age of 72 after a long illness, his obituary states.

The Hotchkiss School is an independent boarding school founded in 1891, according to its website. There are approximately 600 students in grades 9 through 12 and a small number of graduate students.



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