The Marlborough School is an elite private girls’ prep school in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.
Joseph Koetters, 47, a former English teacher at the school, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday of charges that he sexually abused a former female student.
According to Stephen Caesar of the LA Times, Koetter “faces two counts each of oral copulation and penetration with a foreign object involving someone under 18.”
The educator, who is free on $140,000 bail, was considered a popular teacher, and is rated at 4.5 stars by former students on the website RateMyTeachers.com.
According to another LA Times story, Barbara Wagner, the head of the Marlborough School, recently stepped down due to “a pattern of misconduct” by Koetters and “mistakes in judgment” by officials in the school that supposedly allowed alleged abuse by Koetters to continue.
Koetters, who worked at the school for more than a decade, was reported to have abused more girls than the one in the court case, and it will be interesting to see how many more come forward now that this young woman summoned the courage to speak out about him.
This story reminds us of the abuse at the American School in Japan (ASIJ), a school in Tokyo that caters to the children of American businesspeople, diplomats and missionaries. In that case, much like the one involving Koetters, a teacher named Jack Moyer abused girls over the course of decades, and the school administration did nothing to remove him from his position, inform parents, or protect the students from a predator. In fact, administrators at that school only took responsibility of the situation after alumni united and called for an independent investigation.
If you have been abused while in a private prep or boarding school and want to speak with someone confidentially, please call us toll-free at 1-888-407-0224 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.