A retired private school teacher was sentenced earlier this month in a Cape May County, New Jersey criminal case. The teacher pled guilty last year after admitting to molesting a teenage boy and grooming an 11 year old boy. Child molesters often “groom” their victims before assaulting them. Grooming involves gaining trust by giving a potential victim gifts or money and spending time with them. The cases involve conduct that occurred in 2001 and more recently in 2015. The sentence included a 3 month jail term, lifetime parole and registration as a sex offender.
Related: Pennsylvania Catholic Church – Priest Sex Abuse Investigations Ongoing [Nearly 10 dioceses in Pennsylvania are under investigation for covering up reports of sexually abusing children.]
The former private school teacher taught at the Chestnut Hill Academy (now known as Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) from the 1970’s until 1998. The private school is located in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, near the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods. The teacher taught math and also coached wrestling at the school, which during his two decades, was an all-boys school. It is now a co-ed private school after merging with an all-girls private school in Philadelphia.
Two men, former students at Chestnut Hill Academy, recently came forward alleging that the teacher had sexually abused them in the 1970s, while they were students at the school. According to one victim, the abuse occurred during a wrestling session. The victim’s father went to school authorities. According to an article at philly.com, school officials have no record of that report. According to a separate article at philly.com, one of the victims said that the teacher likely abused other boys. (See philly.com, Sex offender taught at elite Philly prep school for decades; two ex-students allege abuse and see Former teacher, tied to sex abuse at elite Phila. school, sentenced in N.J. cases.)
This isn’t the first teacher at the school to have been accused of sexually molesting students. Another teacher was fired in 1972 after one of the two students he abused reported the conduct to school officials. In 2015, the school sent a message to parents and alumni after being prompted by a victim. That teacher died in 2011.
The recent case in New Jersey prompted the school to send another message to parents and alumni alerting them of the criminal case.
More from the School Sex Abuse Victims’ Law Library:
- Pennsylvania Public School Sex Assault Law Update – Federal Court Rules Against Philadelphia Public School (September 14, 2016) In a recent court ruling, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled in favor of a young child who was removed from her school by an unknown adult who then sexually abused her. The lawsuit against the public school was allowed under federal law.
- PA Teachers Sexually Abusing Students – Signs of Abuse (December 2, 2015) Read about the signs of sexual abuse by a teacher in Pennsylvania.
- Can a Student Sue for School-Teacher Sexual Abuse? (December 22, 2014) Students who are sexually abused by teachers, coaches and other school employees may have legal rights to receive financial compensation. Lawsuits may be filed against schools, including public or private schools.
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