Appeals court says Wesleyan not liable for abuse of teens

HARTFORD (AP) — Connecticut’s Appellate Court ruled Friday that Wesleyan University cannot be held responsible for the alleged abuse of boys in its basketball facilities and the dorm room of a basketball player during the early 1980s.

The decision, which upholds the ruling of a lower court, found the two men who brought a lawsuit against the school in 2017 failed to show the school should have known what allegedly happened to them and other boys between 1982 and 1984, when they were between 13 and 15 years old.

The lawsuit alleges the student, who the plaintiffs say also was a resident advisor at Wesleyan, met boys at the school’s basketball facility, then brought them to his room promising to show them “exercise and stretching routines” before sexually abusing them.

The court found the plaintiffs “have provided no evidence, nor have they alleged any facts, that the defendant even knew that (the student) was in contact with younger teenage boys, particularly in his capacity as a resident advisor or head resident.”

The lawsuit against the former student, who does not face any criminal charges, is still ongoing. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Eamon Donovan, said they have not decided whether to appeal Friday’s decision to the state Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for the university did not immediately reply to a request for comment. In earlier court filings, the school has said the student was not employed by Wesleyan and his alleged actions were not foreseeable.


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