Survivors of Sexual Abuse at the Fessenden School in Newton, Massachusetts, Speak Out - NECN
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Survivors of Sexual Abuse at the Fessenden School in Newton, Massachusetts, Speak Out

Two students will speak about their alleged abuse at a press conference Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Private School Sexual Abuse Victims Speak Out

    Two former students at the Fessenden School in Newton, Massachusetts, said Monday that they were sexually abused as young children in the 1960s and '70s and called for a federal investigation into sexual abuse. (Published Monday, May 9, 2016)

    Two former students at the Fessenden School in Massachusetts said Monday that they were sexually abused as young children in the 1960s and '70s and called for a federal investigation into sexual abuse.

    "Fessenden knew this was going on and they denied it," said alleged abuse victim John Sweeney through tears.

    Barely able to contain their emotions, two alleged victims of sexual abuse at the prestigious Fessenden School, an all-boys boarding and day school in Newton, have come forward decades later to share their stories.

    "You people knew it, you knew that we were getting raped!" yelled Sweeney.

    Another alleged abuse victim Adrian Hooper said, "I had given up, I just trusted no authority figures in my life, I hated my father for sending me there, I thought it was punishment."

    As more allegations of abuse surface at dozens of private schools across New England, 64-year-old Adrian Hooper and 57-year-old John Sweeney are two of 11 alleged sexual abuse victims working with attorney Mitchell Garabedian to try to get some sense of closure.

    "Don't hide behind confidentiality agreements, show us the records, show us what you knew," Garabedian said.

    Garabedian says even though the statute of limitations has run out on criminal sexual abuse charges, he believes he could still take legal action against the school for what's called fraudulent concealment.

    "We want to know what was hidden when and if it was hidden intentionally," said Garabedian.

    He and his clients are calling for a federal investigation of the school, as they work on legislation to try to get rid of the statute of limitations for sex crimes.

    Sweeney said angrily, "This is like murder, they murdered our souls, there should be no statute of limitations at all for child sex abuse victims!"

    The school released a statement saying in part, "In 2011, The Fessenden School acknowledged and apologized for abuses that took place decades ago and offered counseling to anyone who was harmed. We have acted with compassion and concern for the victims."

    But Hooper and Sweeney vehemently disagree and vow to continue to fight this.

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