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Child sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Wisc. academy

Lawsuit claims ‘Lord of the Flies’ atmosphere turned a blind eye to sexual abuse of cadets

CHICAGO — A Chicago law firm filed a child sexual abuse lawsuit Monday against a Wisconsin military academy.

The lawsuit, filed by Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, alleges that St. John’s Northwestern Academy, located in Delafield, Wisconsin, west of Milwaukee, fostered a “Lord of the Flies” atmosphere among cadet students that allowed and encouraged student government where several incidents of physical and sexual abuse between cadets on campus have gone unnoticed by the academy.

In accordance with SJNA websitethey use the prefect model in their academy, where the academy encourages student governance through ‘Preps’ – senior students – taking responsibility for helping and guiding other students in the classroom, dorms and other group activities.

In more detail, the lawsuit alleges the academy’s negligent actions allowed then-minor plaintiff John Doe to be repeatedly abused by a fellow student several years ago, despite assurances from the victim’s mother and father that the academy would provide a safe environment for them son

The lawsuit alleges that the nine counts listed in the formal complaint include violations of Title IX, as well as negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, and assault and battery.

“Not only did the school administration repeatedly fail to act as a mandatory whistleblower regarding these conditions, [but] they are [also] created an atmosphere that encouraged illegal and unacceptable behavior,” said Romanucci & Blandin partner Martin D. Gould. “Our client’s courage in coming forward about this abuse will help protect the Academy’s future classes by making them have zero tolerance when it comes to child sexual abuse.”

In a statement released to WGN News, St. John’s Northwest Academy said it “was recently notified of a lawsuit that was filed in federal court against the school and a former student. The charges stem from a ten-year-old incident of abuse between two former students.’

The Academy continues: “After graduation [the] During the 2011-2012 school year, SJNA became aware of these allegations as a result of an investigation by the Delafield Police Department. As reported at the time, SJNA cooperated fully with authorities during the investigation. SJNA will respond to the lawsuit through the court system.”

SJNA concluded the statement with the words “St. Northwestern John Academy takes all allegations of sexual assault and battery very seriously. Our dedicated faculty and staff have been and will continue to be steadfast in the safety and well-being of our students and our entire community.”


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