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No criminal charges after Rhode Island boarding school sex investigation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island state police said an investigation into dozens of sexual abuse allegations at a prestigious boarding school has resulted in no criminal charges.

Police on Thursday said they looked at allegations of abuse of students by seven former faculty members, one current employee and three former students and allegations that current and prior administrators did not properly report abuse at St. George's School in Middletown.

During their investigation, police said they worked in cooperation with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, which participated in interviews with approximately 40 witnesses, included alleged assault victims, according to CBS affiliate WPRI.

The determination that no criminal charges can be sought at this time was based on existing state laws, according to state police, and laws that "defined the alleged conduct at the time it occurred."

St. George's is an Episcopal school. It apologized in December for failing to report decades of abuse to authorities. An internal investigation by the school found 26 students were sexually abused by six school employees in the 1970s and 1980s.

The apology came after The Boston Globe reported the story of a woman who said she was repeatedly raped by the school's athletic trainer as a 15-year-old in the 1970s.

During a January news conference in Boston, attorneys said 40 men and women claim they were abused at the school during that time span, WPRI reported.

Three former students called for the independent investigation and demanded the school set up a victims' assistance fund for mental health counseling.

At least one alleged victim called for the current head of the school, Eric Peterson, to step down, the station reported. Peterson has not commented, citing the ongoing investigations.

A Boston lawyer said last month the school was negotiating possible settlements with more than 30 victims.

About 400 students attend the private high school, with annual tuition of $56,000.

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