More ex-students allege abuse at school; current teacher placed on administrative leave

Portland (KPTV) — The Catlin Gabel scandal is growing.

Five women, who are former students of the school, have filed four lawsuits, saying they were abused by school staff.

The new lawsuits are civil cases, not criminal cases, so FOX 12 is not naming the people listed in the complaints. One person, however, is a current teacher at Catlin Gabel and has been placed on administrative leave.

The new complaints accuse five teachers of sexual and emotional abuse at the school spanning decades.

One of the women said that when she was in seventh grade, she entered what she thought was a romantic relationship with one of her teachers. She alleges that her teacher molested her in a windowless storage room beneath the library at Catlin Gabel.

In another suit, two former students allege they were sexually abused by their English teacher. The plaintiffs say the teacher groomed them individually by praising their talent and writing skills and eventually had sex with them.

The new allegations brings the total to ten former students who have brought lawsuits since the school released a disturbing internal report in December detailing a long history of sexual abuse perpetrated by the school’s staff.

Plaintiffs allege that the school did not follow mandatory reporting laws and that the school knowingly covered up the danger, which put more students at risk and led to more abuse.

“I am speaking up now because for years I thought I was alone, and sadly have come to realize the extent of the damage done to myself and others at Catlin,” Sarah Jones, a plaintiff, said.

One of the lawsuits accuses a teacher of mental abuse instead of sexual. The plaintiff says the teacher humiliated her during a school assembly when she was in eighth grade, accusing her of dating her way through the eighth grade and gifting her with a wind-up pair of plastic lips.

The five former students in these new complaints are seeking more than $10 million dollars in damages from the school.

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