Former students sue school for sexual abuse

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Trinity-Pawling School. Photo by Frank "Rustic" Connolly.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Three former students at the Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling have filed lawsuits in Dutchess County State Supreme Court alleging they were sexually abused.  Another former student filed suit against the school in 2019.

One student maintains he was sexually abused by Gerald Hollis, a Latin teacher and choir director, between 1972 and 1976.

Another former student alleges he was sexually abused b Reverend Richard Wyland, an Episcopalian priest and director of studies, between 1990 and 1991.

A third student alleges he was sexually abused by Walter May, the food services supervisor, chefs club director, and dramatics club director, in 1970.

All three students allege they were abused on the campus of Trinity-Pawling.

The complaints also allege that an investigation concerning sexual abuse at the school was conducted by the institution in 2020. The suits said the investigation found that from the 1970s through the 1990s, there were at least 14 allegations of sexual abuse, nine of which involved Hollis and four which involved Wyland.

The former students are seeking damages for pain and suffering as a result of the alleged sexual abuse and the school’s alleged neglect.

The Child Victims Act allows older adult victims of alleged sexual abuse to file lawsuits through August 14, 2021.