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Bronx DA creates abuse hotline in Horace Mann probe

June 14, 2012 1:55:49 PM PDT
The Bronx District Attorney's office on Tuesday established a special hotline to report suspected sexual abuse at a prestigious New York City prep school.

District Attorney Robert Johnson is encouraging anyone with information about possible inappropriate behavior by staff members at the Horace Mann School to come forward.

The move comes after a story published in The New York Times Magazine last week said the elite school was plagued in the 1980s and early 1990s by a series of teachers who sexually abused students.

The students, mostly identified in the article by letters in their names, accused at least three now-deceased teachers of repeatedly molesting them and other pupils. They described an atmosphere in which the social lines between teachers and students were routinely blurred, and then taken advantage of by pedophiles.

The article was written by Amos Kamil, a 1982 Horace Mann graduate.

Johnson said Tuesday his office received a copy of the school's policy on sexual abuse, and was researching laws that may allow the office to prosecute cases, should anyone come forward. According to state law, only teachers and educational staff at public schools are required to report abusive acts.

Earlier this week, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn sent a letter to Johnson asking him to investigate the claims.

The hotline number is (718) 838-7382. All calls to the hotline will be kept confidential. The NYPD has also set up a hotline at (646) 610-7272.

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