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Sex abuse allegations at school in Brooklyn mirror Penn State

While sexual abuse is a problem that is largely underreported in Connecticut and throughout the U.S., there are certain instances that become known and function as case studies. The prominence of certain cases has shed some light onto the problem, but still others are overshadowed. Those who have been subjected to childhood sex abuse should be aware that they have options not just to report what has happened, but also to receive compensation through a legal filing against the individual who perpetrated the abuse and the entities that knew about it.

Poly Prep, a prestigious private school in Brooklyn, had its own allegations of sexual abuse that rival the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State. The late coach and teacher, Philip Foglietta, was revealed to have sexually abused students at the school for his entire tenure there.

One committed suicide long after graduating by jumping in front of a train. A lawsuit had been filed in 2009 that, in addition to the allegations against Foglietta, the school itself covered up information as to it having happened. As the details of the story of abuse was revealed, it was found that the coach abused students at his apartment, at his home in upstate New York, the school and his car.

This revelation is one of many involving private schools in other locations. In New England, there were 67 schools in which sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred. Approximately 10 percent of students in American public schools state they were subjected to sexual misconduct. At Poly Prep, one football player stated that Foglietta attempted to sexually abuse him in 1974, but he was able to fight the coach off. The boy and his family told the school and informed about other incidents with students. They say they were ignored. In fact, the allegations of his treatment of students went back to the time when he started at the school. Despite this, Foglietta was treated as a retiring hero when he stepped down in 1991.

Lawsuits were filed, including one against the school for racketeering. It was settled. In addition, it is believed that the school quietly settled with individual students regarding the allegations against Foglietta.

This case bears similarities to the Sandusky-Penn State case and unfortunately, was not brought to light while Foglietta was alive and could have been called to answer for what he did. For people who have been subjected to sexual abuse, having legal help is an imperative. It is possible to seek compensation for these acts and a lawyer with knowledge of child sex abuse by coaches and teachers can help.

Source: Esquire, "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil," Eric Lewis, Nov. 17, 2016

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