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Spotlight Follow-up

Students apparently abused at N.Y. private school, report says

The report appears to confirm much of the allegation of Kat Sullivan who said she was raped by a teacher, Scott Sargent, in 1998.Kat Sullivan/Handout

A law firm hired by an elite private girls’ school in upstate New York has determined that numerous students appeared to have been victims of sexual abuse and exploitation by educators and other staffers since the 1950s.

The 10-month investigation by the firm Cozen O’Connor uncovered behavior ranging from sexual harassment and groping to consensual, if inappropriate, relationships and rape at the Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y.

The report also appeared to confirm much of the allegations of Kat Sullivan, who said she was raped by a teacher, Scott Sargent, in 1998. Sargent was fired after the incident, but the school still wrote him two recommendations, and he later found a job at a private school in Connecticut. Sargent was never charged.


The incident was reported by several media outlets, including the Globe Spotlight Team last year in a series of stories about sexual abuse at private schools.

“This investigation was undertaken so that we understand, plan, and educate about sexual misconduct,’’ the school’s leaders said in a letter to the community posted Tuesday on the Emma Willard website. “We are taking responsibility for the past so that our future is different.”

The report shared by Emma Willard comes five days after Choate Rosemary Hall released a similar report about widespread sexual abuse at the Connecticut school in recent decades.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@