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St. George’s, One of the Richest Prep Schools, Faces Tens of Millions in Lawsuits for Sexual Abuse

Monday, December 28, 2015

 

St. George’s, the exclusive prep school in Middletown, Rhode Island which reports assets of over $200 million, has admitted that after decades of denial that at least 23 students were molested by multiple faculty and staff.

St. George’s, which sits high above Second Beach and claims one of the most picturesque campuses in the world, has a long list of high profile alumni including John Nicholas Brown, actress Julie Bowen, Bill Bush, Tucker Carlson, many of the Astors, Senator Claiborne Pell and poet Ogden Nash.

On December 23, in the midst of the holiday week, the school released a letter to alumni including a report that admitted widespread sexual abuse. The report prepared by the law firm Schwartz Hannum admits that at least six staffers were involved in sexual abuse, but only named one of the former employees — Al Gibbs.

Report Released

The lead attorney on the review William E. Hannum III, Managing Partner of the firm, is a graduate of the prep school Deerfield Academy which also had a high profile sexual abuse case. Many alumni question Hannum’s independence and therefore the value of the report.

Gibbs was an athletic trainer at St. George’s from 1973 to February 1980, when he was dismissed after a male student discovered Gibbs photographing a nude female student in the athletic training room. Gibbs passed away in 1996. 

“Based on seventeen first-hand accounts (by students from the Class of 1976 through the Class of 1982), Gibbs engaged in a range of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct including kissing two female students publicly, telling students to remove their clothes without reason, taking nude photos of three students (and in some cases showing such photos to other students), fondling or grabbing the breasts of seven different students, touching the genitals of three students, and in one case rape.”

The report says, “Regrettably, the School did not report misconduct by Gibbs to any state agency at the time of his termination in 1980."

The other five abusers were not named in the report released by St. George’s. Also, the report unveils there were student abusers and none of them were named.

A second molester, called Perpetrator #3 in the report molested a number of students. The report states, “Based on four first-hand accounts and nine second-hand accounts, Employee Perpetrator #3 reportedly engaged in sexual misconduct with at least three students. Witnesses reported that Employee Perpetrator #3 frequently entertained students in his apartment. He also reportedly hosted smaller groups of students on off-campus trips."

The three first-hand reports of sexual assault by Employee Perpetrator #3 reportedly happened off campus. The misconduct by this former employee included providing alcohol to students, writing love letters to a student, watching pornography with students, touching students sexually, including fondling a student’s penis, engineering nude encounters with a student, and sleeping in the same bed with a student.”

St. George’s Faces Economic Catastrophe

If the lawsuits against Roman Catholic Diocese tied to massive sexual abuse and cover ups is any indication, the prep school is likely to pay tens of millions and may threaten the school's viability.

St. George’s reports total assets in its 2014 (for the 2013 year) 990 form of $219 million against liabilities of $29 million. The school is ranked one of the 25 “richest prep schools in America," according to Business Insider.

A review of the payments made by many of the Dioceses around the country show payments ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions per victims. In a number of cases, either to avoid payments or because the diocese assets were exhausted, dioceses declared bankruptcy. Those include the Diocese of Portland, Oregon; San Diego, CA; Davenport, Iowa and a number of other Dioceses. According to one report, in total $1.3 billion was paid to approximately 2,000 victims. Some of the largest individual payments have been in the $5 million range.

Alumni Have Petitioned

A group of alumni of St. George’s has called for a true independent report. The petition has been signed by over 500 alumni. Their petition states in part:

Currently, they (victims) must go through a lawyer, who is also the partner of the School’s counsel, to share their experiences or seek assistance with therapy costs. Many of them have told us that they do not feel safe doing this.

We, the undersigned, insist that St. George’s School establishes without delay:

An independent, clinician-directed assistance fund for former students who need care and treatment as the result of being sexually assaulted while at the School;
An objective and thorough investigation, conducted by an independent third-party, and with full disclosure of the findings to the School community;
A disclosure to its alumni of the important facts discovered through that independent investigation.
Many of these cases of abuse reach back over thirty years, but some are more recent. St. George’s must take responsibility for the harms caused by its neglect, and immediately help those who continue to suffer from those crimes.

Anne Scott, Class of ‘80

Katie Wales, Class of ‘80

Joan ‘Bege’ Reynolds, Class of ‘79

 

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Headmaster: Dr. Jerry Larson

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School: Cheshire Academy

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Location: Cheshire, CT

Tuition Boarders: $47,840

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Headmaster: John Warren

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School: St. Mark's School

Number of Students: 356

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Location: Southborough, MA

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Headmaster: Robert Hill

Total Compensation: $307,300

School: The Williston Northampton School

Number of Students: 460

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Location: Easthampton, MA

Tuition Boarders: $52,900

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Headmaster: Andrew Menke

Total Compensation: $307,320

School: New Hampton School

Number of Students: 310

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: New Hampton, NH

Tuition Boarders: $53,700

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#42

Headmaster: Bradford Hastings

Total Compensation: $308,140

School: Pomfret School

Number of Students: 357

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: Pomfret, CT

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Bradford Hastings retired in June 2011. His successor was Tim Richards who took over in July 2011. 

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#41

Headmaster: Chisholm S. Chandler

Total Compensation: $314,145

School: Salisbury School

Number of Students: 305

Grades: 9-12, PG, All Boys

Location: Salisbury, CT

Tuition Boarders: $53,700

Tuition Day Students: $43,700

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#40

Headmaster: Mark A Devey

Total Compensation: $322,320

School: Indian Mountain School

Number of Students: 260

Grades: 6-9

Location: Lakeville, CT

Tuition Boarders: $52,000

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#39

Headmaster: Dexter P. Morse

Total Compensation: $323,754

School: Worcester Academy

Number of Students: 645

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: Worcester, MA

Tuition Boarders: $55,598

Tuition Day Students: $31,574

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#38

Headmaster: Rick Hardy

Total Compensation: $327,595

School: Concord Academy

Number of Students: 370

Grades: 9-12

Location: Concord, MA

Tuition Boarders: $48,050

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#37

Headmaster: John Doggett

Total Compensation: $327,628

School: The Governor's Academy

Number of Students: 398

Grades: 9-12

Location: Byfield, MA

Tuition Boarders: $50,900

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

John Doggett retired in June 2011. His successor was Peter H. Quimby who took over in July 2011.

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#36

Headmaster: Tom Lovett

Total Compensation: $331,733

School: St. Johnsbury Academy

Number of Students: 950

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: St. Johnsbury, VT

Tuition Boarders: $49,300

Tuition Day Students: $15,750

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#35

Headmistress: Caroline Erisman

Total Compensation: $333,746

School: Dana Hall School

Number of Students: 445

Grades: 9-12, All Girls

Location: Wellesley, MA

Tuition Boarders: $54,980

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#34

Headmaster: Robert Broudo

Total Compensation: $334,967

School: Landmark School

Number of Students: 450

Grades: 9-12

Location: Prides Crossing, MA

Tuition Boarders: $67,600

Tuition Day Students: $51,300

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#33

Headmistress: Elizabeth Cromwell Speers

Total Compensation: $336,321

School: The Ethel Walker School

Number of Students: 258

Grades: 9-12, PG, All Girls

Location: Simsbury, CT

Tuition Boarders: $52,300

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#32

Headmaster: Mike J. Maher

Total Compensation: $342,809

School: Berkshire School

Number of Students: 391

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Location: Sheffield, MA

Tuition Boarders: $52,150

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#31

Headmaster: Bill Phillip

Total Compensation: $342,827

School: Westminster School

Number of Students: 390

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: Simsbury, CT

Tuition Boarders: $54,000

Tuition Day Students: $40,500

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#30

Headmistress: Margaret Joblonski

Total Compensation: $345,112

School: Miss Hall's School

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Grades: 9-12, PG, All Girls

Location: Pittsfield, MA

Tuition Boarders: $51,970

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#29

Headmaster: Carl Stasio Jr.  

Total Compensation: $378,717

School: Thornton Academy

Number of Students: 1500

Grades: 9-12

Location: Saco, ME

Tuition Boarders: $42,000

Tuition Day Students: $12,500

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#28

Headmaster: Dr. Michael E. Cooper

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School: Brewster Academy

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Headmistress: Kathleen Carroll Giles

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Headmaster: Eric F. Peterson

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Headmaster: James Tracy

Total Compensation: $412,350

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Headmaster: Rodney LaBrecque

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Headmaster: William R. MacMullen

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Headmaster: Thomas Sheehy

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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Headmaster: David Beecher

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Headmistress: Shelia Culbert

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Headmaster: Michael J. Schafer

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Headmaster: Michael G. Hirschfeld

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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Headmaster: James R. Clements

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Tuition Boarders: $52,500

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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Headmaster: Peter J. McDonald

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Headmaster: Malcolm McKenzie

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#10

Headmistress: Katherine G. Windsor

Total Compensation: $517,373

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#9

Headmaster: Alex Curtis

Total Compensation: $537,310

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Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#8

Headmistress: Margarita Curtis

Total Compensation: $555,823

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Tuition Day Students: $37,685

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Prev Next

#7

Headmaster: Richard B. Commons

Total Compensation: $576,698

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Grades: 8-12

Location: Groton, MA

Tuition Boarders: $53,870

Tuition Day Students: $41,960

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Richard Commons resigned in June 2013. His successor was Temba Maqubela who took over in July 2013.

Prev Next

#6

Headmistress: Barbara L. Chase

Total Compensation: $579,042

School: Phillips Academy Andover

Number of Students: 1141

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: Andover, MA

Tuition Boarders: $48,850

Tuition Day Students: $38,000

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Barbara Chase retired in June 2012. Her successor was John Palfrey who took over in July 2012.

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#5

Headmaster: Robert Henderson

Total Compensation: $581,493

School: Noble and Greenough

Number of Students: 300

Grades: 7-12 

Location: Dedham, MA

Tuition Boarders: $46,700

Tuition Day Students: $40,900

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

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#4

Headmaster: Todd B. Bland

Total Compensation: $635,392

School: Milton Academy

Number of Students: 680

Grades: 9-12

Location: Milton, MA

Tuition Boarders: $49,400

Tuition Day Students: $40,550

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Prev Next

#3

Headmaster: Charles Cahn III

Total Compensation: $664,679

School: Suffield Academy

Number of Students: 414

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: Suffield, CT

Tuition Boarders: $50,800

Tuition Day Students: $35,000

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Prev Next

#2

Headmaster: Thomas K. Sturtevant

Total Compensation: $703,217

School: Northfield Mount Hermon

Number of Students: 650

Grades: 9-12, PG

Location: Mount Hermon, MA

Tuition Boarders: $54,700

Tuition Day Students: $37,300

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Thomas Sturtevant resigned in June 2011. His successor was Peter B. Fayroian who took over in July 2011.

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#1

Headmaster: Jay S. Stroud

Total Compensation: $822,011

School: Tabor Academy

Number of Students: 496

Grades: 9-12

Location: Marion, MA

Tuition Boarders: $53,375

Tuition Day Students: $38,250

Source: IRS 990 Forms as submitted by the School, School's Web site

Jay S. Stroud retired in June 2012. His successor was John H. Quirk Jr. who took over in July 2012.

 
 

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