ANDOVER — Eight former faculty members at Phillips Academy engaged in sexual misconduct toward students, a law firm hired by the private school has reported.
The findings of the Sanghavi Law Firm were released to the academy's students, faculty, alumni and parents Monday, along with a letter signed by Head of School John Palfrey and Peter Currie, president of the Phillips Board of Trustees.
"As we’ve sought to understand and ultimately learn from these most troubling moments in our school’s history, we remain grateful to all who have shared information. Each person who has come forward has shown tremendous courage. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we extend our deepest apologies to these individuals and to all others who have been affected by any form of sexual misconduct at Andover. These transgressions must never occur again," Palfrey and Currie wrote in the letter.
Dozens of individuals came forward with concerns over possible misconduct, with 16 allegations determined to merit full investigation.
The Sanghavi Law Firm of Brookline interviewed dozens of former students and faculty members. Most of the accused teachers declined to be interviewed. The firm conducted 16 investigations of alleged sexual misconduct that occurred from the 1940s until 2015.
Many of the acts took place at Abbot Academy, an adjacent prep school for girls that merged with Phillips in 1973.
Sanghavi's report said Brian Davidson, who taught at Abbot in the 1970s, had sexual intercourse with a student. The student agreed to participate in two interviews with the investigators, according to the firm. Davidson declined to participate in the investigation.
Another teacher, Frederic Lyman, engaged in "unwanted intimate touching" with a student during a school-sponsored activity in the 1970s, the firm alleged. Like Davidson, Lyman declined to participate in the investigation.
Alexander Theroux was found to have engaged in "unwanted intimate touching of a sexual nature" with a student in his home in the 1970s, the report said. Theroux also declined to be interviewed by the firm.
Stephen Wicks, another former teacher, did agree to take part in the investigation. The law firm concluded he had kissed a student "at least once while she was a student at the school in the 1980s."
The late H. Schuyler Royce engaged in "multiple instances of unwanted intimate touching of a sexual nature" with a student in his home in the 1980s, Sanghavi reported.
The firm also determined there was enough evidence to conclude three unnamed faculty members engaged in sexual misconduct toward students. Two of the teachers are dead, the firm reported.
Sanghavi also uncovered an instance of a male student who "engaged in unwanted conduct" when he tried to have sex with a female student in the 1970s.
Palfrey announced last August that the law firm had uncovered several instances of misconduct by faculty members. He said a more detailed report would be released. The report released Monday is the result of that investigation.
Previously, attorney Marie Sapienza, who served four terms as a New Hampshire state representative, alleged in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston in April that Theroux touched her inappropriately while she was a student at Phillips in 1982. She was 15 at the time.
Asked if any of the former teachers face criminal prosecution, Tracy Sweet, spokeswoman for Phillips Academy, said the allegations have been reported to "the appropriate authorities,"
She pointed out the statute of limitations probably prevents most if not all of the offending faculty members from facing criminal charges. The school is now "focused on supporting those who have been harmed," she said.
The faculty now receives annual training on appropriate boundaries between teachers and students, she said. Teachers are also reminded that they are mandated reporters, meaning they are required to report any instance of sexual abuse by a colleague if they become aware of it.
The Blue Book for Phillips employees states clearly that sexual advances toward students are prohibited, she said.