The New England Conservatory has admitted that it failed to abide by its own policy to protect kids when it hired a vendor as a school videographer and didn’t conduct the request background checks. Although in November 10 the acclaimed school started screening all vendors, in addition to volunteers and staff, it didn’t check Peter E. Benjamin, who had been freelancing at the conservatory for at least 10 years.
The background checks are part of Massachusetts’ new requirements for large institutions that primarily work with children. If conservatory officials had done a check on the 68-year-old, they would have discovered that he served five years in prison for sex abuse and rape during the 1990’s and he is a classified Level 2 registered sex offender. Charges against him involved recording himself in sexual acts with three teenage males and behaving in a predatory manner toward boy adolescents.
Last week, the school e-mailed about 6,000 ex- and current students and their families to let them know that it learned last month that Benjamin was a convicted sex offender. They’ve since fired faculty member Benjamin Zander, who has admitted that he knew about the videographer’s past.
Benjamin, however, has said that he didn’t anything improper or inappropriate.
Schools are responsible for making sure that they people they hire don’t pose any threat to kids and faculty. When failure to take the appropriate actions of due diligence results in a child becoming the victim of a violent crime, the school can be held liable for Boston personal injury.
Massachusetts sex abuse can cause serious emotional, physical, and psychological damage to a child that can haunt him/her for life. Many kids are too scared to immediately report abuse incidents. Some may even repress the memory of what happened for years. (Fortunately, the state allows for adults who come forward later to seek damages for molestation or assault that occurred when they were children as long as it is within three years of discovering that the child sex abuse caused the personal injury.)
School says it failed to check into offender, Boston.com, January 15, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Dorchester, Massachusetts Child Sex Abuse?: Teacher’s Assistant Accused of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior Involving Disabled Student, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 13, 2011
$3M Boston Clergy Sex Abuse Judgments Awarded to Two Victims, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 25, 2011
Salem, Massachusetts Sex Abuse Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Revere Van Company for Four Children, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2011
If your child was the victim of sex abuse, you should speak with an experienced Boston injury lawyer right away.