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Ventura Sheriff's Detectives To Investigate Sex Abuse Allegations Against Elite Ojai School

OJAI (CBSLA/AP) – The Ventura County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that it has launched an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against faculty at the elite Thacher School in Ojai.

Actor Noah Wyle Visits Alma Mater
373652 08: The Thacher School, the alma mater of actor Noah Wyle, is seen July 21, 2000 in Ojai, CA. The school was hosting the Vons/Pavilions Teach the Teachers Educational Collaborative, a two-year $6.1 million program funded by Vons/Pavilions supermarkets. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Online USA)

Last week, the Thacher School voluntarily released an independent report from a law firm which detailed incidents of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual abuse perpetrated by faculty members going back several decades.

The sheriff's office disclosed Friday that some of the allegations had previously been reported to the sheriff's office, but "the majority were not."

Sheriff's detectives are now working with the law firm to evaluate all the allegations laid out in the report and determine whether charges will be brought in any of them.

"Investigators are currently working with Munger, Tolles, & Olsen (MTO) and Thacher representatives in order to contact the named and unnamed victims, suspects, and witnesses listed in the report," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "Every allegation will be evaluated to determine if a crime occurred and if the statute of limitations will allow for the prosecution of any offenses."

Anyone with information on the allegations can contact Sheriff's Sgt. Hector Macias at 805-384-4730.

On June 16, the Thacher School released a 90-page report by a law firm hired last August to investigate allegations made in an alumni social media campaign.

The report details episodes of alleged rape, groping, unwanted touching and inappropriate comments going back 40 years. It specifies six alleged perpetrators and describes alleged efforts by former administrators to cover up complaints and blame victims.

The inquiry by the law firm of MTO included interviews with more than 120 former students, parents and current and former faculty and staff.

The Thacher School has more than 250 students. Most live at the school at a cost of $64,700 a year.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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