An exclusive New England boarding school has been rocked by a sex abuse scandal.

Dozens of former students at St. George's School in Rhode Island have come forward to say they were raped or molested there since the 1970s.

The school apologized for repeatedly failing to notify authorities, as required by law. Its leadership characterized the abuse as a problem of the past, the extent of which it only discovered recently.

Several accusers dispute that. Much of their anger has fallen on Eric Peterson, headmaster since 2004.

Interviews with alumni and documents obtained by The Associated Press show Peterson was told several times since 2004 about abuse allegations.

Many alumni want Peterson to step down.

A spokeswoman for the school and Peterson declined to comment on specific allegations, citing an independent investigation.