Alleged Thacher School Sexual Abuse Went on For Decades
In the fall of 2020, Thacher School, California's oldest boarding school, confirmed allegations of sexual abuse, misconduct, and harassment involving alumni, current students, faculty, and staff after investigating allegations of sexual abuse that were covered up for over 40 years. The investigation report showed that the school failed to intervene promptly and report allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse to authorities. The school admits they also failed to support the students and alumni who came forward.
Read on to learn more about the allegations against Thacher School and how survivors can hold their perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Understanding the Thacher Sexual Abuse Allegations
The Thacher School investigation found that female students began accusing faculty members of sexual violence and possible child abuse dating back to the 1980s. The all-boys school began accepting female students to attend beginning in the late 70s. One particular allegation involves a female student who was befriended by her English teacher in her freshman year. An inappropriate relationship ensued and turned sexual without her consent.
The accuser stated that her English teacher continued to sexually abuse and rape her multiple times throughout her sophomore and junior years. The woman also said that she would be publicly humiliated in front of other students by the teacher. The accuser alleged that the relationship grew violent, and in her junior year, the teacher forcefully threw her across a room that knocked her unconscious. The accuser stated that she reported the incidents to school administrators, and they never contacted law enforcement.
The County Sheriff's office has been investigating the allegations to determine appropriate steps for victims seeking justice.
California Sexual Assault Statute of Limitation Laws
In October 2019, the statute of limitations for California sex crimes was revised and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This means that survivors of child sexual abuse have more time to file. Guidelines for the statute of limitations are as follows:
- Sexual abuse survivors can file a lawsuit until age 40 or within five years of discovering the abuse as an adult.
- Child sexual abuse survivors now have a three-year window to file a sexual abuse claim that fell under the previous California statute of limitations.
- Awards might be tripled at the court's discretion if the abuse happened alongside an attempted or successful cover-up.
Can You Sue a Boarding School for Sexual Abuse By a Teacher They Employed?
When a teacher or other school faculty member is reported for sexually abusing students, the institution must investigate the accused staff member. Additionally, school administrators and other official staff have a legal duty to protect their students from sexual predators. Schools that fail to do so are considered negligent.
If negligence is involved, the school can be held liable for abuse of students by an adult on the school's property which may include the following: teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, school nurses, school officials, visitors, school bus drivers, after school program employees and volunteers, janitors, and custodians.
Are You A Survivor of Thacher School Sexual Abuse? We Can Help.
At , we understand the challenges that come along with speaking out against your perpetrator. It can be an intimidating experience, especially when society often places blame and shame upon the victims. We are passionate about advocating for the rights of sexual abuse survivors. We believe you and the sexual abuse was not your fault.
Our legal team is here to guide and support you through a difficult time. We will help you hold your perpetrators accountable for their heinous actions and ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Contact us today at to learn your rights.