Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Hotchkiss

Judge Rules Hotchkiss School Student Sexual Abuse Trial Will Move Forward

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden for the second time rejected a request by the attorneys representing the Hotchkiss School to dismiss the sexual abuse lawsuit against the prestigious college preparatory institution, ruling in favor of the plaintiff that a jury trial should take place.

“Again, Hotchkiss said it has no obligation to protect its students from sexual predators. And again, the court ruled that Hotchkiss is wrong,” said Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin, who represents the plaintiff.

That plaintiff, a former student identified as “John Doe” in the lawsuit, attended ­the Hotchkiss school in the mid-1980s during time which he alleges he was sexually abused by Roy G. Smith Jr., known as “Uncle Roy,” a dorm proctor and purported athletic trainer who had been employed with the school for over 17 years. The suit, originally filed in 2015, alleges the abuse took place on multiple occasions when the boy was just 14 years old and that Hotchkiss attempted to cover up his reports of the incidents in order to protect its own reputation.

In October 2018, a second former Hotchkiss student filed a lawsuit alleging that Smith had drugged and sexually assaulted him, following a period of blatant grooming during which Smith inappropriately touched the 15-year-old student even as Smith was the subject of other complaints about sexual abuse of children. That case is pending.

For more information about the case, you can call Ms. Martin toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 or use the form on the Hotchkiss case web page.

Learn more about these kinds of cases.