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Connecticut Boarding School Sued Over Alleged Sexual Abuse

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) - The Hotchkiss School says it is investigating allegations that students were sexually abused there three decades ago.

A former student of the exclusive boarding school in Salisbury filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court, alleging he was subjected to ritual sexual hazing by other students and raped by a teacher, Roy Smith, known as "Uncle Roy."

The lawsuit says the student wrote an article about the school's lack of response to abuse complaints, but school officials prevented the student newspaper from publishing it.

The former student's attorney, Antonio Ponvert, said that as athletic trainer, Uncle Roy had unfettered access to the teenage boys.

Connecticut Boarding School Sued Over Alleged Sexual Abuse

"The fondling by Uncle Roy started in my client's first year and then the rape happened in his second year," Ponvert told WCBS 880's Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

The lawsuit is similar to those filed on behalf of former students at the nearby Indian Mountain School.

Former student Peter Buck claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday he was sexually abused and assaulted dozens of times by three school officials, including English teacher Christopher Simonds, from 1982 to 1984.

Ponvert, also representing Buck, said other faculty knew of the assaults, but no one ever alerted authorities.

Hotchkiss leaders posted a letter on the school website Thursday saying they are committed to students' safety and well-being and are working with an independent law firm to investigate the claims.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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