Horace Mann sex abuse scandal involved 64 students and 22 faculty, staff: report

By Ginger Adams Otis
New York Daily News
May 27, 2015

A comprehensive report that came after an investigation by Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, pictured, and Horace Mann Prep alumni revealed that 64 students were subject to sexual abuse between 1962 and 2011.

Snyder said the school was not cooperative during the investigation.

As many as 64 students at an upscale Bronx prep school Horace Mann were abused by as many as 22 faculty and staff in a decades-long sex abuse scandal, according to an independent report released Wednesday.

The comprehensive report was the result of an investigation funded by Horace Mann alumni and conducted by Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder — who noted throughout her findings the school refused to cooperate with her probe.

Snyder had to rely primarily on the testimony of alleged sex abuse victims, she said.

There were few to no official records kept by the school and she was not given access to Mann’s archives or allowed to interview staff, she said.

Approximately 32 students who alleged teacher or staff abuse agreed to settlements with the school when the bombshell allegations first surfaced in The New York Times in 2012.

But the true number of victims was at least double that figure, Snyder’s report concluded.

Among the report’s findings:

l Between 1962 and 2011, Horace Mann received at least 25 reports of sexual abuse from students.

l Reports of abuse were made to individuals at the highest levels of the administration.

l Included among the abusers — both men and women — were a headmaster, coaches, teachers, a school chaplain, a dean of guidance and department heads.

l A total of 22 faculty victimized at least 64 students

l None of the reports was forwarded to law enforcement

l When action was taken on alleged abuse, Horace Mann removed the accused without any acknowledgement of the abuse, or search for other victims

Snyder concluded her report with several recommendations, including stricter enforcement of mandatory reporting laws, a reform of New York’s statute of limitations law on sex abuse cases and a database to track teachers with sex abuse histories.

The biggest frustration, she said, was that there was no mechanism available to compel Horace Mann to cooperate with the investigation.

“Horace Mann ... top leadership has declined to meet with me or anyone else involved in this investigation; it has refused to answer our written inquiries and entreaties; and it has forbidden us access to records that might answer some of our many questions about what happened at the school,” Snyder said.

“It is a frustrating outcome, as what the victims want most of all is the truth.”

Horace Mann officials didn’t immediately comment on the findings.



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