Thacher School sexual abuse investigation
In 2020, sexual misconduct claims were reported against a former Thacher School headmaster and two teachers. As a result, the school retained Munger, Tolles & Olson, a Los Angeles law firm, to investigate the claims. The investigation included interviews with over 120 current and former students, parents, faculty, and staff.
One victim reportedly described being allegedly raped by a teacher in the 1980s when she was 16 years old. The sexual abuse progressed into more violent encounters.
Another victim reportedly described how a teacher/soccer coach acted inappropriately by creating "an exclusive clique of students with a secret 'initiation ritual' that included asking girls embarrassing personal questions about their bodies." In addition, this same teacher would allegedly give massages to female students while also groping their bodies.
The final claim was against a former Thacher headmaster who asked two female students to work as waitresses at a formal dinner party at his home. According to the report, the headmaster "instructed them to wear slinky and sexy clothes." He also "deliberately dropped his napkin, then asked a female student to pick it up and put it on my lap."
Unfortunately, these types of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct reports are not uncommon. Thacher acknowledged that there were repeated instances of "boundary crossings." Even though the accused teachers and headmaster no longer work at Thacher and have not been charged, the Ventura County Sheriff department is reviewing the evidence. For the victims, their greatest fear, as students, was that they would be the ones to get in trouble.
Victims are often afraid to speak up and report what sexual crimes have been committed. When teachers or administration officials commit sexual misconduct, victims often feel as if they have no one to turn to.
Top boarding schools such as Connecticut’s Choate Rosemary Hall and St. Paul’s in New Hampshire have also endured sexual misconduct scandals.
If you are a victim of Thacher School sexual misconduct, the time is now to come forward. The law has changed and is providing you with an opportunity to seek justice. Call one of our attorneys for a free and confidential consultation.