Presentation High grads allege school covered up sexual abuse

Mercury News

November 22 and November 23, 2017

By Tatiana Sanchez

Two former Presentation High School students on Wednesday alleged the prestigious Catholic girls school covered up sexual abuse reports against a longtime teacher for more than three decades and said many other students were victims of abuse over the course of several years.

Kathryn Leehane, who wrote about the experience in an Oct. 20 Washington Post article, and Cheryl Hodgin Marshall, whose Presentation classmate was allegedly abused by the same teacher, said at a law office that school officials ignored multiple reports about the now-deceased teacher sexually abusing students since the 1980s in order to protect the school’s image.

“The school had numerous opportunities to deal with him,” said Leehane, who claimed the teacher groped her and showed her pictures of a naked woman.

Leehane said school administrators didn’t respond to her initial letter in 1993 reporting the abuse and that the school’s response to a second letter she sent made her feel as though she was being intimidated to retract her report.

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