A group of men who say they were sexually abused decades ago when they were students at the prestigious Horace Mann School spoke out for the first time Monday and demanded the school sponsor an independent investigation into the cases.
The men, now in their 40s and 50s, appeared at a news conference alongside their lawyer Gloria Allred, the New York Times reports. In addition to asking the school to investigate how the teachers got away with abusing students, the men also called on the state to lift the statute of limitations that currently prevents victims to pursue criminal prosecutions of their abusers after they turn 23.
Speaking publicly about the abuse for the first time, the men detailed the experiences that they say still haunt them. Jon Seiger, 51, said the headmaster of the school and a teacher forced him to drink alcohol and have sex with them. The headmaster also encouraged other teachers to abuse him, Seiger said.
Many of the teachers who are accused of abusing children have since died. Allred represents a total of 22 men and three women who say they were abused at the Riverdale school. The school has offered monetary settlements to several of them, the Times reports.
A group of alumni recently hired former judge and sex crimes prosecutor Leslie Crocker Snyder to investigate the sexual abuse cases. Allred said a school-sponsored investigation would be more effective.
Founded in 1887, Horace Mann is the one of the most elite preparatory schools in the country and one of the most expensive private schools in the city.