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Prep school ‘destroyed’ girl’s life over sex assault, suit says

May 13, 2018

A woman described in the suit as a counselor accused the student of “making up a story about being raped,” according to the documents, and worked with another administrator to identify her “as having a problem ‘stealing’ her wealthy classmate’s clothing.”

“Overwhelmed by trauma and [St. Paul’s] failure to do anything about it,” the student began to “engage in increasingly risky behavior,” the suit says.

Administrators forced her out in 2014, the documents say. She graduated from high school after “extensive” psychiatric treatment on a “home and hospital” program, the suit says, but she has been unable to enroll in college.

Prep school ‘destroyed’ girl’s life over sex assault, suit saysPrep school ‘destroyed’ girl’s life over sex assault, suit says

In a letter Friday, the president of the school’s board of trustees, Archibald Cox, said the board was just learning about the “serious” allegations, which included failing to report the assaults.

“We take these allegations very seriously, but do not know whether they are accurate or not,” he said. “In my experience this administration has taken all reporting obligations seriously and has fulfilled them.”

Michael Hirschfeld, St. Paul’s rector and one of the administrators who the suit alleges forced the student to leave the school, said in a statement that he “vehemently refutes” not reporting an alleged sexual assault.

The statement did not address other allegations in the suit.

The suit, which seeks at least $450,000 in damages, alleges that St. Paul’s intentionally inflicted emotional distress, was negligent and violated Title IX, the federal law that prohibits schools that receive government funding from engaging in sexual discrimination.

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