An elite private school in Brooklyn has agreed to settle sexual abuse claims brought by 12 former students of the school. The alleged perpetrator, Philip Foglietta, served as the school’s football coach since 1966, the same year Poly Prep Country Day School officials received the initial allegations that Foglietta was using his position of power and authority to sexually abuse his players.
According to the NY Times, the allegations of sexual abuse and the school’s cover-up are all too familiar-groping and raping boys on campus, in his car and on trips, while administrators enamored with his success ignored a series of allegations made against him. Goglietta died in 1998.
The Times reported, “Mr. Foglietta was hired by the school as its football coach in 1966, and a student spoke out that same year. William Jackson, then an eighth grader, told his parents that Mr. Foglietta abused him, and he and his parents took those allegations to the school. Administrators “proceeded to conduct a sham investigation,” the complaint says, and told Mr. Jackson and his parents that the accusations were lies and that any further complaints would result in severe consequences.
That was a dark turn for Mr. Jackson, one of the plaintiffs: he lost his parents’ trust, and they died estranged from him. He struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and depression, and tried to kill himself in 2004. The complaint describes similar trajectories for the other plaintiffs and says hundreds of other victims probably followed suit.”
Unfortunately, we’ve seen the tragic effects of the sexual abuse of minors involving the Boy Scouts of America, the Mormon Church, and other institutions of trust-all with the same result. All too often, the institutions dismiss these allegations, allowing the perpetrators to continue to abuse children. This won’t stop until the institutions are held accountable in each and every instance of the abuse of a child.