Dear Athena Project Community,
When the seven members of the Athena Project came together over two years ago, we identified three main goals.
- First, that any faculty or staff who had sexually harassed or assaulted students at Sonoma Academy would be publicly exposed and prevented from harming children in the future.
- Second, that any student or alum who has been sexually harassed or assaulted by faculty or staff at Sonoma Academy would be made aware of the full scope of misconduct and negligence at Sonoma Academy, so that they might better understand the context of their own experience.
- And finally, that Sonoma Academy would make amends to all the victims/survivors and pay them restitution for the harm they suffered.
As many of you are aware, we have been participating in a restorative justice process with Sonoma Academy with the aim of accomplishing these goals. We chose to try the restorative justice process before filing a lawsuit because we believed it offered the best chance of a positive outcome for the victims as well as the entire Sonoma Academy community.
And, in fact, the restorative justice process helped us achieve some of our objectives. Sonoma Academy hired Debevoise & Plimpton to conduct a thorough investigation of faculty and staff misconduct and administrative negligence, and the RAINN Therapy Fund was established to support people who were harmed directly or indirectly by faculty or staff sexual misconduct at Sonoma Academy.
However, after over a year of negotiations, Sonoma Academy, their insurance providers, and their legal representatives have not yet committed to compensating victims of faculty or staff sexual misconduct via the restorative process.
Furthermore, it recently came to our attention that Sonoma Academy’s attorneys may assert that any person who was 26 or older on January 1st, 2020 is barred from prosecuting their potential claims in court if they have not filed suit by December 31st, 2022, despite the fact that the California Supreme Court tolled the statute of limitation for all claims for six months during the pandemic.
In light of the lack of progress in our restorative justice process effort to set up a non-litigation claim process and the potential issue with the statute of limitations, we have decided to file a lawsuit against Sonoma Academy. To that end, we have retained Gloria Allred and her law firm, Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, to represent us, in collaboration with our attorney Larry King.
Allred, Maroko & Goldberg have a long history of representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination. We are confident that together with Larry King they will do everything in their power to help victims of faculty and staff sexual misconduct at Sonoma Academy secure just compensation for damages they’ve suffered.
We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from so many within the Sonoma Academy community. We know this has been a painful reckoning for Sonoma Academy students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff. This is not what we wanted. For over two years, we sought to avoid litigation. We are disappointed that it has come to this, but we now believe that litigation is the only way to secure justice and restitution for victims/survivors.
To all victims/survivors of faculty or staff sexual misconduct: we will continue to respect, affirm and support any choice you wish to make with regards to how you address your own experience. We are available to talk if you wish to discuss your options.
You can also contact our attorney, Larry King, if you wish to have a confidential discussion.
- (707) 364-2352
Gloria Allred is also happy to have a confidential conversation with you. To arrange a call with her email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clio, Linnet, Morgan, Emma, Grace, Gia and Savannah