A group of former prep school students from St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island, were preparing to hold a news conference Tuesday to demand an independent investigation into a sex abuse scandal they say took place -- and was covered up -- in the 70s and 80s. The alleged victims and their attorneys planned to reveal their response Tuesday to a recent report released by the Episcopal boarding school confirming 26 such cases.
"We want the facts and the responsibility," attorney Eric MacLeish told the Providence Journal. "The board report was a sanitized version of the truth."
The 11-page report, which came out Dec. 23, found three former staff members "engaged in sexual misconduct with regard to multiple students," the New York Times reported. Three other staffers abused single students, and some students abused other students.
Four of the six implicated employees were fired after the allegations surfaced years ago, but the institution "failed on several occasions to fulfill its legal reporting requirements," according to the report. Some staffers went on to work at schools elsewhere in the country.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 5, 2016
More victims have come forward since the publication of the report as well as a Boston Globe investigation into the incidents. Forty-two people total have accused St. George's students and employees of sex abuse. Victims told the Globe their dorm master, the late Franklin Coleman, would rub their shoulders, give them gifts and sleep in beds with them. The report identified former athletic trainer Al Gibbs as another alleged perpetrator.
"I was 14 or 15 at the time. I was raised to obey authority, so I was terrified and never told anybody about it," alumna Anne Scott, who sued Gibbs in 1988, told the Journal. "He raped me, and so I don't know how many girls were raped as well."
The state police have launched their own probe into the school. A news release from MacLeish and attorney Carmen Durso — both of whom represented victims in the Boston clergy abuse scandal a few years ago — said they hoped prosecution was possible because Rhode Island has no statute of limitations for rape.