St. George's School in Rhode Island Agrees to Settle Up to 30 Sex Abuse Claims

The school announced the settlements on Wednesday

St. George's School has agreed to a settlement over sexual abuse allegations that would provide compensation for up to 30 former students, the elite Rhode Island boarding school announced Wednesday.

The Middletown school announced the pact in a joint statement with a group representing sex abuse victims, saying the institution will provide an undisclosed amount of money to settle the claims. Paul Finn, a mediator who also worked on the clergy sex abuse settlement in Boston, will determine how much each person will receive.

Dozens of people have come forward to say they were abused by teachers and staff at the school as far back as the 1970s and as recently as the 2000s. The school itself acknowledged it did not report the abuse to authorities. In some cases, administrators did not believe the reports of abuse. In others, staffers accused of abuse were forced out but went on to teaching positions in other schools.

A state police investigation concluded earlier this year with no criminal charges.

Anne Scott, who leads the victims' group SGS for Healing and who attended the mediation, said she was grateful to the board of trustees.

"St. George's has done something meaningful and important for survivors," she said in a news release. "It's hard to put into words what it feels like to receive this kind of validation and support, after all these years. Our spirits are renewed on our forward healing journey."

Leslie Heaney, chair of the school's board of trustees, said board members hope the agreement will assist survivors as they move toward healing. 

"We look forward to continuing to work with our survivor community so that the lessons learned can ensure the safety of our current and future generations of St. George's students," she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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