Dudley & Kiniya

Dudley & Kiniya

Important Update from Board Chair

Brendan • 1 month ago • Alumni | Blogs

To the Dudley/Kiniya Family:

On November 30, 2016, I wrote to share with you the troubling news that two former campers had come forward to allege that they were sexually assaulted at Dudley in the 1970s. After reviewing these allegations, the Board concluded that an external investigation was essential. This letter outlines the steps we undertook, summarizes the investigator’s conclusions and finding, and discusses our plans moving forward.

Although the investigation was prompted by highly specific reports from two separate survivors, the investigative mandate was much broader. The purpose of the external investigation was to determine what transpired and to share what we know with our community in order to determine if others suffered any instances of sexual misconduct at our Camp. It included inquiry into all allegations of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior that were brought to the attention of the investigator.

Charlie Updike (#8276), an attorney at Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Gerber LLP, a firm with experience investigating and addressing sexual misconduct at schools and universities, was retained as outside counsel to assist us with respect to this matter. Camp also retained T&M Protection Resources, LLC, an investigative firm with no connection to Camp, to conduct the investigation and to report its results. The Sexual Misconduct and Investigations Division of T&M is headed by Laura Kirschstein, Esq. She is a former member of the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and leads a team of former prosecutors with similar experience who specialize in such investigations. A Special Committee of the Board was appointed to oversee the process and report back to the Board.

The Board did not seek to limit T&M’s inquiry by narrowly defining “sexual misconduct” nor was T&M asked to interview only those survivors or witnesses who came forward on their own. Rather, we asked T&M to employ their extensive experience and to use their judgment as to how to carry out the investigation. No budgetary or time constraints were placed upon T&M. The goal of the investigation was to investigate and assess allegations of past misconduct so as to inform and improve our decisions going forward. T&M was also asked to review Camp’s current policies and procedures.


The Investigation

The names of the two known survivors were provided to T&M. In addition, my letter of November 30, 2016 contained contact information for Laura Kirschstein, the lead investigator at T&M, as well as a mental health professional and myself, all of whom were willing to receive reports in confidence. All persons who came forward or were contacted by Ms. Kirschstein were advised that their communications would be received and kept in confidence and their identity not disclosed unless disclosure was required by law or ordered by a judge. Over the course of a year, T&M interviewed 71 witnesses and reviewed all available documents.

We thank the survivors who courageously came forward and the witnesses who agreed to share their memories. We hope to honor and support them by putting the knowledge and insight we have gained to good use.


Report of the Investigation

At the conclusion of the investigation, T&M was asked to prepare a Report to the Board that would be shared with the entire Camp community, while respecting the privacy requests of those who came forward. T&M’s Report is specific and uses clinical language to describe the abuse found. As noted in the Report’s introduction, it is not intended for children.

T&M’s full Report is available online at https://goo.gl/BtPxmN


Summary of the Report

The Report’s key finding, conclusions and observations are as follows:

  • T&M found that Jim Flanagan, while serving as a leader at Dudley from 1969 through 1984, sexually assaulted three male campers, made sexual advances to a fourth camper and engaged in inappropriate or uninvited physical touching and boundary crossing behavior with three more campers. All of these campers were 16 years of age or younger.

 

  • The Report concludes that the actions taken by Camp’s administration when Flanagan’s abusive behavior was reported before the summer of 1985 and in 2002 were insufficient. After the first report was received during the off-season between the summers of 1984 and 1985, Flanagan’s relationship with Camp was terminated and he was banned from the campus. However, the investigation found no evidence that: (i) law enforcement was notified; (ii) any effort was made to determine whether other campers had been abused; or (iii) steps were taken in 2002 to notify Flanagan’s employers of what had occurred, even though Camp knew he was a teacher.

 

  • T&M also investigated one allegation of sexual abuse during a single summer more than fifty years ago by a 15 or 16 year old against a younger camper. Despite substantial efforts, T&M was unable to find additional reliable evidence that corroborated the younger camper’s allegation. As a result, T&M was unable to make any finding with respect to this allegation. Accordingly, T&M determined not to include any details about the events described by the camper or any additional information surrounding the allegation. To do so would almost certainly lead to the disclosure of the identities of other campers, all of whom were minors at the time of the incidents and some of whom have chosen not to participate in this investigation.

 

  • Through the investigation, T&M learned that two reports of sexual misconduct and a report of inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature were brought to Dudley’s attention at the time that each occurred. The Report notes that in each instance Dudley responded by dismissing the individuals from the Camp’s employment. The details of these incidents were not included in the Report because T&M was unable to gather sufficient evidence to support a finding in each instance.

 

  • In addition, T&M received allegations against nine other individuals within the Dudley community that ranged from firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct and boundary-crossing behaviors to isolated rumor and speculation about such behaviors that occurred since the 1950s. T&M sought to pursue these allegations to a logical conclusion but ultimately determined there was insufficient information to reach a finding of sexual misconduct for the various reasons set forth in its Report.

 

  • T&M documented other instances of misconduct reported, including games, pranks, bullying and other similar activities.

 

  • T&M received no information alleging abuse or misconduct at Kiniya at any time.

 

  • T&M received no information alleging abuse or misconduct at Dudley after 2001.

 

Camp’s Response to the Report

Camp is deeply saddened by the conclusions reached by T&M. We sincerely apologize to all of those impacted, and for Camp’s insufficient response to certain of these incidents at the time initially reported to Camp.

My November 30, 2016 letter indicated that both survivors requested confidentiality at the time they reported their abuse to Camp. The Report indicates that this may not have been the case and that memories differ with respect to what was said or requested. Furthermore, my letter can be read to suggest that such requests for confidentiality led Dudley to not conduct a wider inquiry at the time. The Board and I apologize to both of the survivors for this suggestion, as well as, for my definitive recounting of any request for confidentiality. It is clear that a goal explicitly articulated by both survivors was to protect other former and current campers. Although the prompt termination of Jim Flanagan’s association with Dudley was a decisive and necessary step that ensured the cessation of his activities at Camp, remaining silent and failing to investigate further did nothing to ensure the safety and well being of other possible survivors or potential future victims.

Although the criminal statute of limitations expired before any survivor came forward to anyone at Camp, in accordance with currently accepted practice, we have notified law enforcement personnel of the reported abuse by Jim Flanagan. As of this writing, we are not aware of any further investigation being undertaken by law enforcement. In addition, Camp is notifying all known past and current employers of Jim Flanagan of this Report and its finding.

The fact that T&M has not received allegations about sexual misconduct since 2001 is not grounds for complacency. Rather, it may warrant cautious optimism that our current policies and procedures are effective. In addition, as the Report notes, beginning in 1995, Dudley became increasingly conscious that certain activities that are described in the Report (e.g., inappropriate games, pranks, teasing and bullying) were not consistent with Camp’s motto or values and could be harmful. Camp has continued to actively encourage a more sensitive culture to make Camp physically and emotionally safe for all.

Because of T&M’s expertise and experience with respect to sexual abuse and related issues, we asked them to review Camp’s current policies, procedures and training. T&M has concluded that Dudley and Kiniya have a strong set of policies and procedures and engage in effective training and education of staff about topics related to sexual abuse, including appropriate interaction between staff and campers, and guidelines for camper-employee physical contact. As part of these policies and the attendant training, both campers and staff are encouraged to report concerns of inappropriate behavior to Camp senior staff. Our current policies can be found on our website. Either of our Directors or I would be happy to address any questions and to hear your suggestions on how to improve them.

We deeply regret that anyone at Dudley experienced any form of abuse or misconduct. Although additional survivors at Dudley have already come forward, there may still be others suffering alone and in silence. The contacts listed in the November 30, 2016 letter remain available. We stand ready to listen to you and to support you, and will respect your privacy in the process, as may be requested.

Appropriate relationships and trust between our campers, leaders and staff are cornerstones of Camp’s mission and core values. The care and safety of the young people in our charge is Dudley’s and Kiniya’s highest priority. With humility, resolve, and continuous learning we endeavor to uphold and strengthen the Camp’s mission, motto and core values.

Sincerely,

Q

Matt Quigley, #10643
Chair, Camp Dudley Board of Trustees

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