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Our Lady of Elms seeking help to investigate sexual misconduct allegation against former member

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Posted at 9:59 AM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 09:59:18-04

AKRON, Ohio — The president of Our Lady of the Elms, an all-girls private high school in Akron, is seeking help investigating an alleged act of sexual misconduct by a former faculty member that may have occurred decades ago, according to a letter posted by President Deborah Farquhar Jones.

On Sunday she wrote, “A former Our Lady of the Elms student, who graduated more than 40 years ago, has recently come forward to allege sexual misconduct by one of our former faculty members. We take an allegation of sexual misconduct very seriously and immediately began an investigation into these specific claims, as well as to ascertain if any other former students may have been impacted. This investigation is ongoing.”

Jones said the school would not release the name of the former student, to protect “individual’s identity” nor the name of the accused faculty member, “due to anti-defamation laws and at the advice of counsel.”

The school said there is no files about this specific allegation and there is no other record of any sexual misconduct on behalf of the former faculty member.

“We recognize that this situation is painful, and that these answers are frustrating. We also acknowledge that a lack of documentation on these allegations does not necessarily mean that they did not occur. I want to personally assure you that we will continue to make every effort to uncover whatever facts and information may be available,” Jones said.

The complaint has been forwarded to both Child Protective Services and the Akron Police Department.

The school is asking anyone with information to come forward. Any information can be forwarded to Jones directly at 330-867-0751, email dfarquharjones@theelms.org or in person during her office hours.