Elite R.I. Prep School to |Settle Sex Abuse Claim

     (CN) – The prestigious St. George’s School in Providence, Rhode Island agreed Wednesday to settle claims filed by up to 30 former students who say they were sexually abused while attending the boarding school.
     In a joint statement with a group representing the alleged sex abuse victim, the school said it will provide an undisclosed sum to settle the claims. The amount each plaintiff will receive will be determined by mediator.
     The settlement came after months of controversy involving allegations of sexual abuse by staffers and students at the school in Middletown, Rhode Island.
     Those accusations led to an independent investigation of the school, and an inquiry by Rhode Island State Police.
     In late December, the school issued a report saying that its investigator found that 26 students were sexually abused by six school employees, most of it in the 1970s and 1980s. When alumni criticized that report for its lack of independence from the school administration, a second investigator was appointed. A report from the investigator is due in August.
     In June, the school’s embattled headmaster, Eric Peterson, said he won’t seek to renew his contract when it expires next year.
     The agreement was mediated by Paul Finn, a Boston-based mediator and arbitrator who has helped settle claims in the priest sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston as well as in several school cases, including the Horace Mann School in New York.
     Under the terms of the settlement, neither side is allowed to discuss the money involved.

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