sexual abuse

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George Blessing, a staff psychologist at Cranston High School West, is accused of failing to report allegations to child welfare authorities of, “sexual abuse of a child in an educational program.” Blessing is the first person to face charges under Rhode Island’s newly amended child abuse reporting law. A hearing on a motion to dismiss the trial, as well as the potential start of the trial itself had to be postponed, after the prosecutor from the Attorney General's office fell ill. The trial has been rescheduled for early January.

Violet LeMar, principal at Harry Kizirian Elementary School has been charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report allegations of sexual abuse of students by a gym teacher. LeMar pleaded not guilty in District Court. The school district has placed her on administrative leave.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A resolution calling for an independent investigation into the handling of sexual abuse allegations at Henry Kizirian Elementary School moved forward in the Providence City Council Monday.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The Providence Public School district is reviewing safety protocols, after school administrators failed to report allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher to the state Department of Children Youth and Families.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The private Gordon School in East Providence has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual assault dating to the 1970s. 

According to a brief statement issued by the current head of school, the allegations involve several former students and a former faculty member. The school says no current administrators, faculty or staff were employed at the school at that time.

The school says law enforcement has been contacted, though it is unclear whether any criminal investigation has begun.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Howard "Howdy" White, a former associate chaplain at St. George’s School in Middletown, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Boston to charges of assault and battery. He's accused of assaulting a then 16-year-old St. George’s student during two trips to Boston more than 40 years ago. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania has removed Rev. Howard White from the priesthood, citing allegations of sexual abuse documented in a report about St. George's School in Middletown. 

Elisabeth Harrison

In Middletown, St. George’s boarding school has announced a settlement with up to 30 former students, who allege they were sexually abused. 

Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a bill requiring schools to contact child welfare authorities when they suspect sexual abuse of their employees. The bill also requires the state's child welfare office to investigate allegations of abuse in schools.


Elisabeth Harrison

In the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal at St. George's School, Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The loophole, first reported by Rhode Island Public Radio, seems to allow schools and other institutions to avoid reporting abuse allegations against their employees. 

Elisabeth Harrison

State police will not pursue any criminal charges following their investigation into sexual abuse allegations at St. George’s School in Middletown. The state police, working in conjunction with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, announced the end of their investigation on Thursday afternoon.


Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

In the aftermath of allegations of past sexual abuse of students by employees at St. George’s School in Middletown, the school has been accused of violating Rhode Island’s duty to report law for abused and neglected children.

But, as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison first reported, this law is not as clear as it appears to be. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Alumni from St. George’s School in Middletown have accused the school of breaking the law by failing to report allegations of sexual abuse spanning decades. But there’s more ambiguity in state law than you might think, and it may have contributed to the school's failure to report the abuse.


Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

St. George’s School is under intense scrutiny after a group of former students accused the school covering up years of sexual abuse, much of it dating to the 1970s and 80s. Their accounts raise questions about the culture of the elite, Episcopal boarding school, which remains largely unknown to outsiders.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island Public Radio has confirmed the name of another teacher at St. George’s School who has been accused of sexual abuse.

The teacher is referenced as "Employee Perpetrator #5" in the school’s recent investigation. Rhode Island Public Radio believes the teacher in question is Timothy Tefft, who worked at St. George's for just a few months in 1971.

Tefft was let go from St. George's for providing alcohol to students, according to the school's report. The school learned of the allegation of sexual abuse during its recent investigation and reported it to state police.

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