Boarding School Settles Over Decades of Sexual Abuse
At least 30 former students say they were abused at St. George's in Rhode Island
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2016 4:56 PM CDT
St. George's School in Rhode Island announced Wednesday it has agreed to a settlement over sexual abuse allegations.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – A 120-year-old boarding school in Rhode Island has settled with up to 30 former students who claim they were sexually abused by staff there, the AP reports. According to the Boston Globe, the details of the financial settlement weren't revealed, but a lawyer for the victims calls it "very significant." Complains of sexual abuse and cover-ups at the expensive and prestigious St. George's School started with Anne Scott, who says she was raped by an athletic trainer starting in 1979, the Guardian reports. At least 17 students say they were abused by that trainer, including Katie Lovkay, who says he molested her then passed naked pictures of her around to boys at school. "This was never about the money," Lovkay tells the AP. "This was about being heard."

After Scott went public, allegations poured in from former students who said they had been sexually abused as boys and girls at St. George's between the early 1970s and early 2000s. The settlement follows a seven-month police investigation last year that lead to zero charges being filed. Police cited various reasons, including the statute of limitations and changes to laws. “St. George’s has done something meaningful and important for survivors,” Scott tells the Globe. In addition to the settlement, St. George's principal will step down when his contract expires next year. Victims are also still free to file criminal or civil complaints against individuals, though not the school itself.