MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – The latest on sex abuse allegations roiling an elite Rhode Island boarding school (all times local):
An elite Rhode Island boarding school has agreed to hire an independent investigator to look into allegations of sexual abuse made by at least 40 former students covering four decades.
Lawyers for the alleged victims said they reached an agreement late Thursday with St. George's School in Middletown to conduct a second investigation. Many victims had questioned the thoroughness of the school's first investigation, which was conducted by the law partner of the school's attorney.
Leslie Heaney, chair of St. George's Board of Trustees, said the board is committed to a "truly impartial investigation" and will retain a third-party independent investigator.
Eric MacLeish, a lawyer for the victims, said both sides will have to agree on the investigator.
Anne Scott, a former student who said she was raped by the school's former athletic trainer, called the agreement a "very important first step." The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes. But Scott has spoken publicly about the allegations.
An Episcopal priest has been suspended from a Pennsylvania church after being accused this week of molesting three boys at an elite Rhode Island boarding school more than 40 years ago.
Dozens of students allege they were molested or raped at St. George's School in Middletown in the 1970s and '80s. A lawyer for three former students named the Rev. Howard White on Tuesday as being among the six perpetrators the school identified after an internal investigation.
White is a retired priest who has been filling in at St. James Episcopal Church in Bedford, about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh. He hasn't been charged with a crime. He didn't return a phone message Thursday from The Associated Press. He told The New York Times on Tuesday that the accusations were "news to me." Asked by the newspaper if he had been fired because of the accusations, he said, "That isn't really true."
Episcopal officials say he will be subjected to the church's disciplinary process.