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Sexual abuse suit; CT school and then-headmaster under scrutiny

When a victim of abuse comes forward, those accused of the crime not only face criminal charges but could also endure civil actions. Victims of sexual abuse are able to hold a perpetrator accountable for the crimes committed and the damages they caused to the victim.

A private school in Connecticut is currently being investigated for claims of child abuse. Allegations have been swirling for years against this private school and previous headmaster that hosted children from pre-kindergarten through 9th grade. With several suits behind them, a group of purported victims have formed a civil action against the school, former headmaster and other school personnel who were aware of the sexual abuse.

According to recent reports, a dig was ordered in search of child porn that was allegedly buried on school property. Whether or not the dig gathers any evidence against the defendants in this case, the accusations are harrowing.

A former student at the school filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging that the school's then-headmaster, Peter Carleton, ordered him to live in the basement of his home and sexually assaulted him at will in the 1980s.

In 1996, a local paper exposed a string of sexual abuse allegations against the defendant. The allegations surfaced after the criminal statute of limitations had expired, and the accused was never charged.

State police conducted an investigation in '92 and '93 after receiving complaints of sexual abuse. The state police report on that investigation concluded that children at the school, some as young as 12, reported being given illegal drugs and cigarettes as a way of manipulating them into having sex with teachers. The report said that many staff members suspected that some of the students - in grades five through nine - were being abused, but no one reported it to police.

A successful civil suit could help victims recover compensation for their loses. In these matters, it is important to understand what options are available so an informed decision can be made, protecting the rights and interests of the victims involved.

Source: courant.com, "Judge allows dig in search of child porn buried at private Connecticut school," Dave Altimari, Dec. 30, 2015

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