At $50,000 year tuition, New York’s Saint David’s School in Manhattan is considered a highly prestigious all-boys private school. However, it now faces allegations by former students of unreported sex abuse by teachers spanning decades.
Peter Defeo III, now 59, claims that 50 years ago he was abused repeatedly by teacher Robert Ludlow, who is now deceased. He claims that he was abused as young as 8 years old. He also claims that a female administrator witnessed the crime, literally looked the other way and did nothing to stop it. The sexual abuse continued for another two years.
Peter Defeo III, submitted a $20 million Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit at the end of May against the Saint David’s School alleging “administrators knew of pedophiles like Ludlow in their midst and failed to act.”
“He scared the sh-t out of me from the git go,” said DeFeo, who filed the claim under New York’s Child Victims Act. He added, “I knew everything that was going on was wrong, but I didn’t have anybody I trusted that I could turn to. I thought I was the only one. I can’t stress enough how this incident really shaped my entire life.”
According to the suit, in 1971, Ludlow suddenly disappeared from school after another victim’s parents reported similar sexual abuse against him. Around that time, DeFeo transferred to a boarding school where he said he started “drinking alcohol at age 12, abused drugs, has been hospitalized for depression, and has been unable to keep a job or relationship” since because of what occurred in his childhood. It left a residual impact that DeFeo has been unable to change.
“Saint David’s didn’t tell police, or anyone else, about the abuse allegations, and instead deliberately unleashed an active pedophile on the public – then, incredibly, replaced Ludlow with another pedophile teacher,” the suit reads.
As a result of the Child Victims Act’s one-year window, victims must swiftly assess and prepare any potential claims they may have against the entities responsible for their abuse. Herman Law represents hundreds of victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York, many of whom have been victims of the widespread problem of sex abuse within the Catholic Church.
Herman Law is a law firm for victims of sexual abuse across the nation. The firm is led by its founder Jeff Herman, who is recognized as one of the country’s leading attorneys for child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has obtained over $200 million in verdicts and settlements. Jeff has developed a national reputation for his powerful advocacy and unwavering dedication to his clients. Herman Law is committed to empowering victims of sexual abuse to take back their lives and begin the healing process.