Prep school says alumni can seek compensation for abuse
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — An elite New Hampshire prep school that was hit with multiple sexual misconduct allegations spanning five decades announced Tuesday that abused alumni can seek compensation by submitting requests to an independent arbitrator.
St. Paul’s School announced the service days after declaring it would start a therapy fund for alumni abused by faculty or staff. Former students do not need to file formal reports of the misconduct to receive the compensated therapy. An independent victim advocate consultant will assist them in the reporting process and refer them to therapeutic care.
The payment for the support services will be managed by third-party administrators to ensure confidentiality.
The school said survivors may share their stories confidentially with retired judge Nancy Holtz, who has more than 30 years of experience handling childhood sexual abuse cases. The neutral arbitrator will determine any compensation award. The process would provide a “streamlined and confidential” method outside of a court system, according to a letter from school officials to alumni.
It has also established the Alumni Doorways initiative, which connects alumni looking to engage in conversation to promote healing.
Last week, the school agreed to a confidential legal settlement with a former student who was sexually abused by two teachers in the 1970s. The settlement comes as St. Paul’s faces multiple lawsuits over sexual assault. The former student, William Foley, said he wished the abuse never happened, but that St. Paul’s made a sincere effort to address the issue.
St. Paul’s School requested an independent investigation in 2016 that found that more than a dozen former faculty and staff members who worked at the school between 1947 and 1999 engaged in a range of sexual misconduct.