What to Know
- A dozen women who attended the New York School for the Deaf claim in a lawsuit a dorm supervisor sexually abused them on a nightly basis
- The women, who attended the school in the late 1960s and early 1970s, were allegedly molested as young girls at the White Plains school
- The school responded saying that the school is “doing everything it can to research the facts and respond to the allegations"
A dozen women who attended the prestigious New York School for the Deaf claim that a dorm supervisor sexually abused them on a nightly basis, according to a lawsuit.
The women, who attended the school in the late 1960s and early 1970s, were allegedly molested as young girls at the White Plains school — the youngest victims claiming she was just 3 years old at the time of her abuse.
“He abused all of us in early childhoods , scarred, stays with you. You just don’t forget that,” said Marlene Hodge on Wednesday, one of the women who filed the lawsuit. The women claim that the school failed to protect them from the dorm supervisor, a man who died almost 15 years ago.
“Some of the victims did tell the primary principal, teacher and administration and parents, but nothing happened,” said Jo Damiano, another one of the victims.
Hodge and Damiano went public with their claims six years ago, but the statute of limitations had already passed and once again, nothing happened.
But with New York’s passage of the Child Victims Act, a door opened for the lawsuit to be filed to seek justice.
The New York School for the Deaf responded with a statement, saying that the school is “doing everything it can to research the facts and respond to the allegations. It is in the best interests of those asserting the claims and the school that we defer to the legal process at this time.”
Both Hodge and Damiano say they have conflicting feelings on the lawsuit. On one hand, they don’t want to do anything to hurt the reputation of the school. But they also acknowledge it’s the only way they can get closure on the painful memories that continue to haunt them.