HACKENSACK, N.J. – An elite New York City prep school has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against it in New Jersey.
Plaintiff attorney Rosemarie Arnold confirmed to the Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/1F8z8PS) that the settlement with the Horace Mann School had been reached. However, she declined to provide specifics.
The school wouldn’t comment.
Arnold represented a man who was in his 50s when he claimed a now-deceased music teacher had sexually abused him in the 1970s.
The Bronx district attorney’s office and the New York Police Department launched a 10-month investigation into allegations of abuse in 2013 after a 2012 New York Times Magazine article said the academy was plagued by teachers who sexually abused children in the 1970s.
Investigators travelled to California, Colorado and Vermont and identified more than 25 alleged victims and more than 12 suspected abusers.
A systemic pattern of suspected sexual abuse existed from the 1970s until the mid-1990s, but the statute of limitations to prosecute them has expired, New York City prosecutors said.
New Jersey’s limits are less restrictive.
However, all reported sexual abuse occurred beyond the state’s statute of limitations.
In a letter posted on its website in May 2013, Horace Mann apologized for abuse by former teachers and administrators between 1962 and 1996 and said it had reached settlements with nearly everyone, even though the school said they had no legal claim.
“We sincerely apologize for the harm that was caused by the teachers and administrators who abused anyone during their years at Horace Mann School,” wrote Board Chairman Steven Friedman and Head of School Thomas Kelly in the three-page letter. “These unconscionable betrayals of trust never should have happened.”
Horace Mann’s alumni include media mogul Samuel Newhouse and O.J. Simpson lawyer Barry Scheck.