Thacher School Sexual Abuse Attorney
In June, 2021, The Thacher School in Ojai, California released a special committee report in response to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment that spanned decades. The 91-page report detailed incidents of alleged rape, sexual misconduct, and inappropriate remarks by staff, as well as attempts to conceal the incidents by former administrators. Currently, at least six former faculty members are accused of misconduct.
While investigating the issues and publishing the results is an important first step, we believe institutions that enable sexual abuse to continuously occur must be held accountable. If you or a loved one were sexually abused, a Thacher School sexual abuse attorney at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi can help. We are at the forefront in sexual abuse litigation who will stand up to large institutions and fight for justice on behalf of survivors.
Sexual Abuse at The Thacher School
Founded in 1889, The Thacher School is a college-preparatory boarding school located in Ojai, California. According to reports, the alleged abuses dates back to the 1980’s, and includes both faculty and student abusers.
The following are faculty members specifically named in the report:
- Timothy (Tim) Regan: An English teacher whose tenure began in the fall of 1985. Regan taught and directed drama, served as Dorm Head of Upper School, and coached boys lacrosse and baseball. The report details howRegan continuously raped and sexually abused a 16-year-old female student. He resigned in the late 1980’s.
- John Friborg: Friborg worked at The Thacher School from the fall of 1987 through July of 1997. During his tenure, he held the roles of Associate Director of Development, coach of the boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer team, Director of College Counseling, and Dean of Students. The report describes multiple incidents of crossing boundaries with students, grooming behavior, and sexual abuse of students.
- Willard “Bill” Wyman: Wyman was Headmaster of The Thacher School from 1975 to 1992. After his resignation in 1992, he took on the title of Headmaster Emeritus and died in 2014. The report concludes that Wyman’s conduct was a “pervasive” problem at the school and was openly discussed among students, sometimes in the presence of faculty. Wyman’s described behavior ranged form sexual harassment, to inappropriate touching andsexual abuse of students.
- Derick Perry: Perry served as an English teacher, Dorm Head, and coach of multiple sports before transitioning to the Alumni & Development Office, then became Director of Major Gifts in 2015. The report outlines instances of grooming behavior and inappropriate sexual behavior of students. Perry resigned in June 2021.
- Dana Vancisin: Vancisin was a member of the Thacher School’s equestrian faculty, as well as an art teacher and student advisor from the early 2010’s through 2020. While Vancisin has denied engaging in any sexual misconduct with students, the report outlines at least one instance of crossing boundaries with students and having an inappropriate relationship with a male student.
- Rod “Jake” Jacobsen: Jacobsen taught English, Ethics, and Public Speaking before becoming Chair of the English Department, and then Dean of Faculty. He was part of the faculty from 1991 through June 2020. The allegations against Jacobsen detailed in the report are less concrete and do not directly involve sexual abuse allegations, but discuss behavior by Jacobsen that made students uncomfortable.
- Other Allegations: There were a number of unnamed teachers and non-faculty members accused of misbehavior and general boundary crossing incidents outlined in the report.
What Should Survivors of Abuse at The Thacher School Do?
The Ventura County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices are currently investigating the allegations from the Thacher School for potential criminal cases. Survivors have been urged to report any abuse to the authorities.
Additionally, the perpetrators and the institutions that allowed the abuses to occur for decades can be held accountable through the civil justice system. In California, a new law, AB 218, has modified the statute of limitations for those who were sexually abused as children. Survivors now have 22 years from the age of majority (18 years old), or five years from the date of realization of said abuse to file a civil lawsuit. Additionally, AB-218 has also opened a three year window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit for cases that occurred outside the new statute of limitations. Therefore, no matter when the abuse occurred, survivors may still be eligible to file a lawsuit.
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, our California sexual abuse attorneys have fought for justice on behalf of sexual abuse survivors for decades. While our Thacher School sexual abuse lawyers understand how difficult it can be to come forward, it is also important to hold the wrongdoers accountable.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Thacher School Sexual Abuse Lawyer
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we are more than capable of handling sexual abuse cases against large institutions. We have represented hundreds of victims of childhood sexual abuse in cases against California schools and Universities. We have helped survivors and their families obtain justice through rigorous investigation and a focus on our client’s needs.
If you or a loved one survived sexual abuse at The Thacher School and you are ready to come forward, call us at (800) 700-8450 or contact us online. Our Thacher School sexual abuse attorneys understand how difficult this can be, and are here to listen to your story when you are ready to tell it.