2 Ex-Prep Teachers Accused of Sex Misconduct

By Genevieve Reilly
Connecticut Post [Bridgeport]
March 21, 2003

Fairfield - Two former teachers at Fairfield College Preparatory School, one now dead, have been accused of sexual misconduct.

The allegations against the Rev. Edmund Power, who died in 1976, and the Rev. James Pratt, were revealed Thursday by school officials.

Pratt has been placed on administrative leave from his ministerial duties. Since 1996, he has served as a campus minister at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

"These alleged incidents date back 20 and 30 years," the Rev. Michael G. Boughton, Fairfield Prep's president, said in a written statement. "We are committed to carefully and completely reviewing the allegations and will cooperate fully with appropriate authorities."

Joe Miller, the school's director of alumni relations, said that based on legal advice, school officials would not comment further on the accusations.

Power was a Prep chaplain and teacher from 1962 to 1965 and again from 1968 to 1976.

Pratt was a Jesuit seminarian when he taught at the school from 1981 to 1983.

Bob Danieli, co-president of the board of the Prep Father's Club, said, "I don't have any comment."

According to Boughton's statement, a review of the files of both men during their tenure "found no allegations against either priest prior to his appointment to the school, nor any other allegations of misconduct made against either individual during or after his tenure here."

A letter about the allegations was sent to Fairfield Prep parents and alumni. Students were told of the allegations during a special assembly Thursday.

"Fairfield Prep is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of its students and to providing a safe environment in which to learn and grow," Boughton said. "Sexual abuse of any nature is both intolerable and unacceptable."

Stratford attorney Barry Knott, a 1965 Prep graduate, said he knew Power.

"I remember him as a very, very nice guy," Knott said. "I was there for four years, and I don't remember anything like that." Neither does his son, who graduated in 1995, he said.

The school is the best college prep in the state, possibly in New England, he said.

"I thought it was very upfront and professional of the school to advise the alumni of these allegations," Knott said of the letter.

This weekend, a conference will be held in Greenwich for victims of pedophile Catholic priests.

Sponsored by the Greenwich chapter of Voice of the Faithful and Survivors First, the meeting will discuss ways to support victims and ensure that church officials adhere to laws on reporting abuse.

The conference will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Christ Church on East Putnam Avenue. It is open to the public.


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