Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Lawsuit Claims Brooklyn's Poly Prep Covered Up Sexual Abuse by Iconic Football Coach Foglietta
Nine former students have accused Brooklyn’s elite Poly Prep Country School of covering up prolonged sexual abuse of dozens of players by Phil Foglietta, the once iconic football coach who served from 1966 to 1991. The sexual abuse lawsuit filed in 2009 claims that the school authorities started receiving complaints ever since Foglietta joined as coach, but did not act against him because of successful coaching and fund-raising accomplishments he had at Poly Prep during his four-decade tenure. A similar lawsuit filed against the school in 2004 was dismissed because of the statute of limitations. But the present lawsuit makes an attempt to invoke the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to bring a claim against the 157-year-old highly admired school.
The nine plaintiffs named in the sexual abuse lawsuit were sexually exploited by Foglietta more than once when they were members of Poly Prep football team between 1966 and 1981. David Hiltbrand, one of the victims, has disclosed to the media how he and a number of other students were sexually assaulted by Foglietta during the shower at the coaches’ locker room. Foglietta worked as both football coach and physical instructor at Poly Prep between 1966 and 1991. He died seven years later. According to the sexual abuse lawsuit, he sexually assaulted hundreds of students in cars, locker rooms, apartments, other places, and on squash courts, but the school authorities covered up complaints and even threatened to expel those who would report abuses.
David Harman, headmaster at Poly Prep, board of trustees, and a number of former present school officials have been named defendants in the sexual abuse lawsuit. The plaintiffs have sought $20 million for each victim in punitive damages and compensation.