Deerfield Academy posts report on alleged sexual misconduct - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Deerfield Academy posts report on alleged sexual misconduct

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DEERFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Deerfield Academy posted a report on its website Saturday afternoon, after the school investigated accusations that a former teacher had sexual contact with a former student.

In the report, the school said it confirmed that sexual conduct by Peter Hindle did occur with at least two students in the 1980s.

Hindle is now 78 years old.

He taught at the school from 1956 to 2000.

During their investigation, Deerfield said there was evidence that a second teacher, who is now deceased, also engaged in sexual conduct with two other students.

The school said it is in the process of reviewing and enhancing its sexual misconduct and sexual harassment policies.

The school also apologized to the victims.

It has removed Hindle's name from various honors and he is no longer allowed on the Deerfield Academy campus.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan released a statement in response to the school's report.

The statement reads:

"We appreciate the investigation conducted by Deerfield Academy into the allegations of past abuse by faculty members.  We commend Deerfield Academy's public apology to victims and commitment to take all necessary steps in preventing any future child abuse.  

"We hope this investigative report and candid acknowledgement of responsibility by Deerfield Academy helps these victims of abuse fully heal.  The courage of these and other victims to come forward in reporting abuse is critical to ending child sexual abuse and holding offenders and institutions accountable.  

"No matter what decade or era,  it has never been excusable for Deerfield Academy, or any other school, church, or youth organization to turn a blind eye to signs and reports of child sexual abuse.  It is essential that all victims of sexual and physical abuse be supported in reporting their abuse and seeking justice.

"Our District Attorney's office is ready to help any victims of abuse at Deerfield Academy access our victim services and seek justice. We intend to independently investigate whether these abuse allegations were criminal in nature and, if so, whether or not  the statute of limitations or other factors would preclude criminal prosecution.

"It is timely that the Deerfield Academy report marks the start of National Child Abuse Awareness Month.  As our District Attorney office and child advocacy groups around the country raise flags in April for child abuse awareness, it is important to remember these victims and thousands of others who suffer in silence at the hands of trusted adults. Ending child abuse takes more than a village, it take a nation of caring and committed citizens."

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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