Boarding School Student Charged With Sexual Assault; School Denies It [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Boarding School Student Charged With Sexual Assault; School Denies It [Updated]

A Connecticut boarding school is drawing criticism for claiming that a sexual encounter between two students was consensual — even after the boy was charged with sexual assault.

According to the New Haven Register, sixteen-year-old Brendan Moretti asked a sixteen-year-old female classmate at Madison, CT's Grove School to meet him in a bathroom during class. When she did, he allegedly sexually assaulted her. He now faces six felony sexual assault charges, and will be tried as an adult. The girl's parents are suing Grove for failing to protect their daughter. However, the school's CEO just sent a letter to parents that failed to mention the boy's assault charges and claimed the school was not at fault. Apparently, Grove maintains that no rape occurred — the school's lawyer says, "It was absolutely consensual, and when the facts come to light, there will be no doubt in anyone's mind it was consensual." And beyond replacing the bathroom locks, Grove has made no changes in response to the incident.

The alleged victim's lawyer says the letter "harkens back to the old days where people would all blame the victim in rape cases." Moretti hasn't been convicted, but he hasn't been acquitted either, and it's a little strange that Grove is insisting so strenuously on his innocence while the case is still pending. The school, which bills itself as "a co-educational, therapeutic boarding school for adolescents who, because of social or emotional difficulties, have been unable to make satisfactory adjustments in their home, their school, or their social relationships," is surely eager to reassure parents that their children are safe. But the best way to do that is to actually keep them safe — and if a student really was raped, calling it consensual just leaves all other students in danger.


Update: The CEO's full letter to parents is below.

Grove Parents Letter725


Private Madison School's Letter To Parents Raises Ire [New Haven Register]

Image via Steven Pepple/

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If it was consensual and the school can prove it (video surveillance, VM messages, emails, etc) isn't that really the best place to start? Let the police take a look and if those results are not just and fair then we break out the pitch forks.

I get that no one whats to see a victim get this sort of run around - but I think I'd like to see the school's proof before I get too excited on this one. I'd hate to see an innocent young man accused if it can be helped. And if this young woman accused him out of some sort of embarrassment pushing this rape case is just going to back her in a corner - if the school really has proof I find myself most concerned that we give her a graceful out.