A man claims a Massachusetts teacher sexually abused him in a dorm room more than 30 years ago while he was a student at Deerfield Academy.
The retired teacher, Peter Hindle, spoke with NBC 10 News outside of his South Dartmouth home. He said the allegation isn’t true and claims the alleged victim just wants his money.
A civil lawsuit, recently filed in Bristol County, alleges that Hindle sexually abused a man while working at Deerfield Academy in 1986. At the time, the elite boarding school in western Massachusetts was only for boys.
“He’s had numerous victims and we’re concerned here in Dartmouth, Massachusetts — since he still lives here in this community — that there may be many more victims out there,” said Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, which works with victims and families of sexual abuse.
According to the lawsuit, the victim, known as John Doe, said when he was around 16 years old, Hindle rubbed and massaged the boy’s “naked back, skin-on-skin” in his dorm room. The victim is also suing a supervisor, or former supervisor at the school, claiming that Hindle was poorly monitored.
“He’s trying to get money out of me,” Hindle told NBC 10.
It’s not the first time a former student claims Hindle sexually abused him while working at the prestigious prep school, north of Springfield. An investigation conducted by Deerfield Academy in 2013 found that Hindle sexually abused at least two students during his 44-year-career.
“Most people who have been sexually abused as children cannot even begin to deal with the sexual abuse until they’re well into their 30s, 40s, 50s,” Hoatson said. “I’m working with people in their 80s who have come forward for the first time.”
A spokesman for Deerfield Academy had no comment on the latest lawsuit. Criminal charges have not been filed against Hindle due to the statute of limitations.