Third School Report Finds Sexual Misconduct by Choate Teacher

From Andover, Mr. Lyman moved on to Choate Rosemary Hall, an exclusive boarding school in Connecticut. Choate released a report in April that said Mr. Lyman had sexually abused two students, who each visited him in Colorado. He stalked one student and left her with a black eye. He gave at least one of the students herpes.

Even though Choate administrators knew Mr. Lyman had given a student a sexually transmitted disease, he left the school with a letter of recommendation, which helped him land a job at Kent Denver.

That school’s investigation was prompted by inquiries by The New York Times in April. In May, a woman came forward to say that while she was a student there, Mr. Lyman had acted inappropriately toward her. The woman, Kirsten Johnson, asked to be identified by the name she had while a student at Kent Denver, before she was married, to protect her privacy.

Kent Denver’s investigation does not name Ms. Johnson, but it confirms her earlier account. During the 1983-84 school year, the year he would have turned 32, Mr. Lyman sent a holiday card to her asking her out on a date. She was 14 at the time. “He told me to ‘take a chance,’” Ms. Johnson recounted of the holiday card in the Times article, which was published in June.

Ms. Johnson’s father found the card and took it to school administrators, who told Mr. Lyman his contract would not be renewed, but that he could finish out the year on probation if he avoided interacting with students outside of regular school hours and went to counseling. Kent Denver said it would not provide him with a reference and the head of the school discouraged him from applying to work elsewhere.

Kevin V. Duncan, president of the school’s board of trustees, said in a statement sent to the school community that Kent Denver’s reaction to the incident set it apart from other schools: “Mr. Lyman’s contract was not renewed. He did not receive a letter of recommendation. He was actively discouraged from pursuing work in schools. And I am heartened that Kent Denver appears to mark the end of Mr. Lyman’s teaching career.”

But administrators did not order Mr. Lyman to leave campus right away.

The report said that Ms. Johnson, her parents and the head of the middle school at the time, Don Merry, felt that Mr. Lyman should have been fired immediately.

“As a young teacher, I made serious mistakes that I will regret for the rest of my life,” Mr. Lyman said…

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