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“Nationals October 2019

Key School releases findings from sexual misconduct investigations

| January 28, 2019, 07:34 PM

Tonight, the Key School released the findings of an 8-month investigation into sexual assault allegations that reportedly took place over several decades.

In a letter from Head of School Matthew Nespole and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Joe Janney, (also posted to the website), the school says that the legal firm hired by the school spoke with 57 individuals with information about the allegations and were unable to speak with an additional 16 others who investigators felt had information to assist.  In addition, they looked at documentary evidence from Board Meetings and personnel records where available. However, the report does state that most personnel records were destroyed in a flood in 2013.

Key School’s leadership of today acknowledges that the abuse and lack of appropriate timely intervention was enabled by a toxic culture of permissiveness coupled with silence, where adults with intent took advantage of their power… Click To Tweet

The identified and named 10 adults in positions of authority they believe engaged in sexual misconduct or had inappropriate relationships with students. These ten are:

  • Eric Dennard
  • Richard Sohmer
  • Peter Perhonis
  • Vaughan Keith
  • Paul Stoneham
  • John Sienicki
  • Charles Ramos
  • William Schreitz
  • Tad Erickson
  • One unnamed person who was both a victim and an abuser

They believe that at least 16 former students were subject to the abuses described in the full report.

Of note in the report is that many former faculty who were interviewed said that the misconduct “was a reflection of the culture of the times.”

Download (PDF, 580KB)

Key School did offer a full apology to the victims and survivors in their letter, acknowledged the abuse and laid out the steps they have taken to prevent it now and in the future. Additionally they said that the report did not allege any misconduct of  any current staff or administration.

Download (PDF, 187KB)

This report corroborates much of what has been reported on the website Tupelo and Cypress which was set up to anonymously decipher the allegations and the players.

From here, Key School will rebuild. They have passed the report onto the Anne Arundel County Police for possible investigation, they are in touch with other schools where the accused worked prior to and after Key School, they took down a plaque honoring one of the abusers, and they have committed to ongoing review of policies and training of staff as they relate to student interaction and misconduct.

They closed the letter with…

To all Key alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends, both past and present, we reaffirm our commitment to ensure all members of our community, now and in the future, will have the healthy educational environment they deserve.


Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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