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Former DA student recounts tale of sex abuse in Globe magazine

DEERFIELD — The former Deerfield Academy student who accused a retired math teacher of sexually abusing him as a teenager in the 1980s has come forward in a story to be published in Boston Globe Sunday Magazine this weekend.

In the lengthy story, Whit Sheppard of the Class of 1983 tells of his experience at the private independent boarding school, where he claims his dorm parent, teacher and coach, Peter Hindle, 78, of South Dartmouth, made sexual contact with him over several weeks during his senior year.

Sheppard, a Connecticut native and now a Virginia-based writer, writes in The Globe that he revealed his identity to lessen the stigma associated with being a survivor of sexual abuse. An online preview of the article was available Friday on BostonGlobe.com.

Sheppard wasn’t immediately available for comment for this story.

In January, Deerfield Academy announced it had hired an independent law firm to investigate Sheppard’s allegation that he was subjected to sexual contact in the 1980s by Hindle, a faculty member between 1956 and 2000.

In March, Deerfield Academy released the findings from its investigation and criticized the school administrations in the 1980s and 2000s for failing to act on allegations made at the time.

The school also announced it would review and enhance its policies regarding sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. The school also renamed the Peter G. Hindle Schoolmaster’s Chair, removed his name from the school’s squash facility and forbade the former teacher from attending events on campus.

School spokesperson David Thiel said Friday the school wasn’t involved in the magazine article, its development or release. Thiel said the school continues to have “concerns about the victim and trying to do what’s right across the board.”

The Northwestern District Attorney Communications Director Mary Carey said the state is still investigating the case and won’t release any information while that probe is pending.

In an earlier statement, Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan stated, “We intend to independently investigate whether these abuse allegations were criminal in nature and, if so, whether or not the statute of limitations or other factors would preclude criminal prosecution.”

The accused retired teacher Peter Hindle did not return calls to The Recorder for comment on Friday. In the Globe, he stated, “I don’t want to comment. I don’t believe any of the story and I never will.”

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