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First Lawsuit Filed Against The Pingry School for the Sexual Abuse of a Former Fifth Grade Student


Hackensack, NJ – A lawsuit was filed today in the Superior Court of New Jersey—Essex County against The Pingry School by the law firm of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (PSWH) on behalf of a former fifth grade Pingry student who was sexually molested by a teacher at Pingry in the 1970s. The complaint also alleges that Pingry was aware of the sexual abuse and fraudulently concealed it from the public and in particular the parents of Pingry students.

In the spring of 2016, Pingry notified its alumni that it was going to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the 1970s by its former teacher and lower school assistant principal Thad Alton. Pingry engaged an outside firm, T&M Protection Resources, to investigate the claims. In March 2017, T&M released a report which confirmed the sexual abuse.

While Pingry has always held itself out as an elite private school that provides a safe and prestigious learning environment, the T&M Report reveals a culture of sexual abuse at Pingry. Per the T&M Report, Alton sexually abused at least 27 other Pingry students. But, Alton was not the only faculty member to sexually abuse students at Pingry; witnesses told T&M that at least two other teachers sexually abused students during the same timeframe.

The complaint filed today alleges that Pingry knew about the sexual abuse and failed to intervene and protect its students. Alton was investigated by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in 1979 and criminally convicted of multiple “acts of lewdness,” including masturbation, involving twelve-year-old Pingry students. Yet, Pingry, for its own selfish purposes and benefit, failed to notify parents so that they could ensure that their children were safe and were provided any necessary professional care.

Justin P. Walder, Co-Chair of PSWH’s Litigation Department, is representing the Plaintiff, whose father is also a named Plaintiff.

“Pingry shall be held accountable for the consequences of permitting and concealing for decades the shameful and widespread sexual abuse of young students,” said Walder.

To obtain a copy of the filed lawsuit, please click here.

For more information, please contact:
Justin P. Walder
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
21 Main Street, Suite 200
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601

Media Coverage:
New York Times: School Failed to Alert Families to Teacher’s Abuse, Suit Charges
NJ 101.5: Pingry School Could've Stopped Widestpread Child Rape, 2 Victims Say 1st Suit Filed Against Elite Prep School Accused of Allowing Rampant Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Pingry School For Sex Abuse Of Student

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