Austria: Tyrol to investigate allegations of ski boarding school sexual abuse

VIENNA (Reuters) – An independent commission will investigate former Austrian skiers’ allegations of sexual assaults by coaches, supervisors and team members from the 1970s until at least 2005, the Austrian province of Tyrol said on Tuesday.

Former Olympic skier Nicola Werdenigg said last month that she was raped when she was 16 by a male team colleague and that what happened to her was not an isolated incident.

More former Austrian ski athletes have since spoken out, though anonymously, since Werdenigg’s interview, reporting similar experiences and suggesting the abuse was systemic.

The issue in Austria has arisen as numerous allegations of sexual harassment in entertainment, business, politics and sport have been made worldwide in recent months.

Werdenigg, the 1975 Austria downhill champion, did not reveal any names in her interview with the daily Der Standard. She alleged assaults and sexual violence by coaches, supervisors, colleagues, service staff at a Tyrolean boarding school for ski racers.


IICSA: David Lowe case mentioned at hearing into Catholic Church boarding schools

David Lowe jailed for 10 years for abusing boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School
Ex-housemaster sentenced after taking advantage of youngsters as they slept in dormitory beds and during singing lessons at Catholic private school

A former housemaster at a prestigious Catholic private school has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing pupils.

David Lowe, 61, took advantage of boys as they slept in their dormitory beds and during singing lessons at Westminster Cathedral Choir School.

Lowe invited the youngsters to his flat and “spanked” them when they had broken school rules.

He also crept into the vulnerable pupils’ dormitory and touched them intimately while carrying out night-time checks.

Many of his victims studied at the £16,000-a-year choir school, while others were abused at the Benedictine monk-run Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

The attacks, which took place between 1978 and 1984, were carried out on boys aged eight to 13.

Sentencing Lowe at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Judge Martin Beddoe told him: “All these boys were to some degree emotionally and physically vulnerable – some were more so than others.

“You took advantage of that and made it all the worse by what you did.

“What you did has remained more or less a secret for the best part of 35 years until now.

“But for the courage of all 10 complainants, in particular those most affected, a secret it would have remained.”

The Telegraph

IICSA: Ampleforth College: growing evidence of cover up

Police raised concerns that the head of a Roman Catholic boarding school tried to “control” a child sex abuse investigation, an inquiry has heard.

A former North Yorkshire detective said officers were “excluded” from inquiries at Ampleforth College in 1995 and 2002.

But former head teacher Father Leo Chamberlain denied influencing a boy’s parents during a phone call in 1995.

He told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse there had been “no skulduggery”.

The Catholic Church is one of 13 public organisations being scrutinised by the inquiry, which is being headed by Prof Alexis Jay.


Det Sgt Barry Honeysett said he had told Fr Chamberlain in 2003 that he did not trust the private school, because alleged victims of abuse had been spoken to by staff before police were called in.

Mr Honeysett, who led an inquiry into abuse at Ampleforth College, said: “The issue was largely around the delay in the police becoming involved.

“A direct approach had been made to the victim which I felt was inappropriate.”

BBC News

Carmel College to offer compensation payments to sex abuse victims

Victims of historic child abuse at a Jewish boarding school have been offered thousands of pounds in compensation following the chance discovery of crucial documents in a basement on the school site.

Two of the eight former pupils at Carmel College — whose testimony led to the conviction in 2015 of Trevor Bolton, a former teacher — have accepted settlements worth up to £65,000.

In two other cases, solicitors are seeking improved offers from the insurance company dealing with the matter.

One of the victims said that while the settlement “brings a bit of closure…no amount of money can pay back for what occurred all those years ago.” He is still receiving counselling because of his experiences — “something I buried for 40 odd-years.”

Bolton, now 80, was jailed for 19 years at Oxford Crown Court for abusing eight boys aged 11 to 15 at Carmel between 1968 and 1988.

A junior housemaster at the school, “Uncle Trevor”, as he was known, befriended young boys who were homesick or otherwise needing comfort, inviting them up to his flat.

Jewish Chronicle

Scottish private schools face £5m business rate tax hike

Fee paying schools should pay hundreds of thousands of pounds extra in business rates, according to a major review of the tax which also targets universities and private sports clubs.

A review into the levy, commissioned by the Scottish Government, has called for an end to the arrangement that sees private schools pay 20 per cent of their business rates bill because of their charitable status.

Universities which rent out accommodation outside term time should also be eligible for rates, said the report by former RBS chairman Ken Barclay.

The Scotsman

Teaching misconduct: Sexual impropriety dominates lifetime bans. But how many bans in boarding schools?

Three quarters of teachers banned from the profession for life last year were excluded for sexual misconduct – with the remainder committing fraud and exam malpractice, or intentionally misleading job applications.

Schools Week analysis of the 135 hearings carried out by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017, showed 36 of the 49 teachers kicked out for good had faced allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour, ranging from watching pornography in class to having sexual relationships with underage pupils.

The others were given lifetime bans for misdemeanours including fraud (three teachers), exam malpractice (two), and intentionally misleading in job applications and other documents (four).

Schools Week

Time for Ampleforth College and Downside to close?

A head teacher of a Catholic boarding school invited a young pupil into his study and then sexually abused him, the inquiry into child abuse has heard.

The hearing heard the boy was told to pretend to go to bed in his dorm at Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, and then to get up and go to his study.

Two other ex-pupils also talked about being abused and beaten at the school.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is currently examining abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church is one of 13 public organisations being scrutinised by the public inquiry, which is being headed by Prof Alexis Jay.

The third day of hearings into allegations involving the Church examined abuse at Ampleforth College, a private school run by Benedictine monks.

BBC News

The Guardian

Children at top Catholic schools ‘still at risk of abuse‘ despite years of work to remove predators and improve safeguarding

  • An inquiry is examining prevalence of paedophilia among Benedictine monks
  • Focusing on schools: Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset
  • Rape to voyeuristic beatings was inflicted on school pupils, hearing was told

Daily Mail