Report: Three New Names Surface In Choate Sex Abuse Scandal | Connecticut Public Radio
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Report: Three New Names Surface In Choate Sex Abuse Scandal

Oct 14, 2018

An elite Connecticut boarding school has acknowledged more instances of faculty sexual misconduct. 

Wallingford’s Choate Rosemary Hall has revealed new corroborated accounts of sexual abuse to the public, 18 months after an April 2017 investigation yielded substantiated sexual abuse claims against 12 former employees.

The firm, which was retained by the school, presented its findings to Choate’s board of trustees on October 12.

Two former faculty members, Robert Iglehart and Carl E. Johnson Jr., plus Bette Spencer, the wife of a former chemistry and physics teacher, were named in the report as perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

Iglehart worked at the school from 1957 to 1964. He died in 1998.

Spencer lived at the school with her husband, who worked at Choate until 1982. They advised students at an on-campus dormitory. Spencer is said to have had a relationship with one of the students who lived there. She died in 2003.

Johnson is still alive. According to Choate, he moved to Florida after teaching at the school from 1969 to 2001. He was approached by Day Pitney investigators and denied any wrongdoing. Johnson did say that he gave massages to students, but said that he didn’t perform them in a sexual manner.

Connecticut Public Radio has been unsuccessful in reaching out to Johnson.

There are more allegations of abuse against others who were named in the previous report.

Former faculty members John Joseph and William Maillet, along with Kenneth Mills, the husband of a former Choate worker, were further implicated in the latest investigation.

The school said that it hired the firm after additional reports came in following the 2017 investigation. Connecticut Public Radio was referred to a letter sent to the school community that acknowledged faculty sexual misconduct.

“On behalf of the Board and the entire Choate Rosemary Hall community, we apologize deeply to all survivors who suffered abuse at our school and to their families,” read the letter signed by Alex Curtis, Choate Rosemary Hall’s head of school, and Michael J. Carr, its chairman of the board of trustees. “We also recognize that Day Pitney's letter details troubling instances where the school failed to address reports of misconduct appropriately.  We know that our constant vigilance is required, and we have taken many steps and committed resources to protecting our community.”

It’s unclear if any new steps will be taken to address these additional abuse claims, but the school said that among the things it’s done since the 2017 report, it hired a wellness coordinator and established a “therapy fund” for survivors.

Former U.S. Attorney Stan Twardy led the investigation for Day Pitney. He declined to comment on the report.