2 women who say they were sexually abused as students at Cold Spring Harbor HS file lawsuit

Lynda Cutbill and Susan Shanahan both say they have struggled for decades as survivors of sexual abuse. The women say they were repeatedly abused by two different teachers.

News 12 Staff

Jun 15, 2021, 12:11 AM

Updated 1,043 days ago

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Two women who say they were sexually abused at Cold Spring Harbor High School in the late 1970s and early 1980s have filed a lawsuit.
Lynda Cutbill and Susan Shanahan both say they have struggled for decades as survivors of sexual abuse. The women say they were repeatedly abused by two different teachers.
"I was a 14-year-old girl who had been sexually abused on a routine basis and yet essentially I was being blamed," says Shanahan.
Shanahan says she was raped by her science teacher Thomas Kohm. Cutbill says she was abused by her art teacher William Kail.
The women have filed lawsuits under the state Child Victim's Act. The suit states, "In what would be criminal conduct today, the highest ranking district officials deliberately withheld the information reported to them ... prioritizing the school's reputation over its integrity."
Attorney Andrew Shubin says, "Administrators were aware that Mr. Kail and Mr. Kohm presented a danger to our clients and other students."
Shanahan says she encourages people to come forward because she wishes she had done it sooner.
"It's unacceptable what happened and how it got covered up and I think the story needs to be told," says Cutbill.
Both accused teachers are now deceased.
News 12 reached out to the current administration at Cold Spring Harbor School District and was told in a statement by the superintendent that "the district does not comment on pending litigation."
Survivors of sex abuse have until mid-August to file a claim under the Child Victim's Act.


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