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No charges filed following sexual abuse allegations at Ojai prep school

Law enforcement officials in Ventura County have decided against filing charges after investigating more than 100 cases of possible sexual abuse at a private boarding school in Ojai, the Ventura County Star reported.

Sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors in Ventura County came to that decision after combing through a 91-page report on the Thacher School’s handling of sexual abuse, the Star reported. The school last year released the report, which documented many allegations of sexual abuse over a period of decades, including that a teacher raped a 16-year-old student and that a headmaster inappropriately touched students, according to The New York Times.

According to the Times, officials said there were two main obstacles that prevented them from bringing charges: the statute of limitations and the school’s decision to hire a private law firm to investigate the allegations rather than immediately filing reports to the county sheriff’s office.

“Our inability to bring charges should not be seen as endorsing what happened over the years at Thacher,” Deputy District Attorney Brent Nibecker said, according to the Star. “Numerous children were victimized. Adults entrusted with their care violated that trust.”