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Convicted teacher may have molested more victims

A former teacher who admitted to molesting students decades ago may have had more victims.
Christopher Kloman

MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA9) -- A former Potomac School teacher who admitted to molesting students decades ago may have had more victims than identified in court, according to an investigation by the school.

Christopher Kloman, a former teacher at the Potomac School, was sentenced to 43 years in prison for molesting female students between the ages of 12 and 14 years old during the 1960s.

In a letter sent home to parents, the Potomac School says an independent investigation by a law firm revealed that Kloman's victims "extended to more victims than those identified during the legal proceedings."

The investigation also found that "the School learned of some credible allegations of sexual misconduct at the time and directed Kloman to attend counseling, but these actions did not succeed in stopping the abuse or protecting its students."

The Potomac School said it failed in its duty to safeguard the students.

Read the full letter: http://on.wusa9.com/1xaqlen

The school says they are sharing the findings with law enforcement.

The following statement was released on behalf of 11 survivors of sexual abuse by Kloman at the Potomac School:

Late on Friday, June 27, 2014 The Potomac School, issued the summary of a report of its investigation into Christopher Kloman's sexual abuse of more than 30 girls at the school, as well as a summary of what school officials knew and what actions they took or did not take in response to that knowledge.

We represent 11 survivors of Kloman's horrific acts of violence and degradation. While it is now decades later, our clients suffered these acts while they were Potomac students at the ages of 11, 12, 13 or 14.

Many of our clients suffered as Potomac girls and told no one because they thought they were utterly alone in their degradation and humiliation.

But for several of them, there was more: the student herself or the parent actually informed school officials about Kloman's abuse, and nothing appeared to have been done. The notice was not isolated, but widely made, including to a headmaster and/or a teacher. Kloman continued to teach at the school, and was even promoted over the years. In one case, after years of struggling with the abuse, a survivor had the courage to inform the school, years later, only to be told that although Kloman had been terminated, he had been given a warm send-off and an appreciation page in the school yearbook.

While a number of our clients suffered the sexual abuse in 1969 or the 1970s, one client suffered egregious abuse as recently as the 1990s. She reported that she was being abused to several school staff. Shortly thereafter, Kloman was terminated.

Our clients recognize that the current Potomac School is taking a look at the past and addressing not only the extent of Kloman's abuse, but the knowledge and failures of past administrations, and the existence of other perpetrators at the school.

It was due to the courage and tenacity of several of our clients that Kloman was prosecuted and sentenced for 43 years, and it was after our call on their behalf in October for a full and transparent investigation that the Potomac School began its investigation.

Above all, any school's choice to hide a perpetrator, whether it is based on ignorance of the extent of harm that the perpetrator has caused, even in a single instance, or an active choice to protect a school's reputation, can function as a second betrayal that serves only to exacerbate the underlying harm caused by the sexual abuse itself. Rather than being a moment of empowerment and control, the victim of sexual abuse discovers again that she is worthless when a school protects the perpetrator and ignores her complaint.

Potomac School's decision to fully investigate and announce to the world its findings is the first step towards transparency and healing for the community.

Gloria Allred, Attorney at Law

Mariann Wang, Attorney at Law

July 1, 2014

Statement of Laura Gill

I was one of those who reported Kloman's abuse as a student. Immediately after the abuse occurred, I told my parents, who two days later, called the school and scheduled an appointment with the Head of School. After the meeting, my parents informed me that Kloman would be required to seek counseling. Unhappy that he would be permitted to continue teaching and that I would be forced to see him regularly, I discussed the abuse with my adviser and teacher. Angry, she too, scheduled a meeting with the Head. I had the opportunity to witness, the Head, my adviser and a group of men, presumably the Board, discussing the abuse from the window of the Head's secretary's adjoining door. It was my experience at Potomac School that Kloman's abuse was reported widely and no significant action was taken.

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