Poly Prep Settles Sex Abuse Lawsuit

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Poly PrepPoly Prep Country Day School (known familiarly as “Poly Prep”) is an elite K-12 private school located in Brooklyn, New York. In 1966, Poly Prep hired Phil Foglietta as a phy-ed teacher and coach of its woeful football team. The complaint, filed with the U. S. District Court Eastern District of New York, alleges that Foglietta sexual abused of dozens if not hundreds of boys.

The complaint also alleges that certain administrators, faculty, and members of the Board of Trustees engaged in a criminal conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse. Some boys, who reported the abuse to school officials, were threatened with expulsion.

The complaint notes that when the parents of one of the victims, called “Foggy’s Boys,” reported the abuse to administrators, Poly Prep conducted a sham investigation. The protection of the substantial increase in revenue, received from alumni donations because of the now highly successful football program, is claimed to have been a motivating factor. This is a perfect example of why abuse must be reported to the police.

After decades of sexually abusing boys, Coach Foglietta was finally fired in 1991 for sexual misconduct and died in 1998.

Although the details of the settlement are unknown, the lawsuit sought $20 million for each of the twelve plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claim that severe depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and crippling emotional difficulties are the direct and proximate result of the sexual abuse.

One of the victims said he used drugs and alcohol to “get as out of my head as I could get. I was a zombie.”

The school’s current headmaster, David Harman, released a statement:

We hope that the settlement brings a measure of closure to those members of the Poly community who were abused by Philip Foglietta.

Poly Prep officials reject comparisons to other sex-abuse scandals like Penn State.

H/T: NY Times, NY Daily News, The Village Voice.

15 thoughts on “Poly Prep Settles Sex Abuse Lawsuit”

  1. Yes, Coach Phil was a sick puppy, but the school admins should be prosecuted for not protecting the kids and the school.g

  2. I’m always amazed that these institutions (including the Catholic Church) continue to weather such self-induced storms and that parents continue to send their children into the belly of the beast.

  3. Justice from the state will not be imposed upon a pedophile like this. A priest gets even more slack than a lay teacher. Justice would be the death penalty. Unless you believe in the Sixth Commandment and the Thou Shalt Not Kill thing applies. But short of killing the guy, what would be “just”?
    Corporal punishment seems to be next in line. Cut off his medicaire. No, I mispoke. Cut off his poke.

  4. That place should go out of business. Some of the perps need to be shot. If you were on the jury in a case where a victim got pissed twenty years later and came back and shot the pedophile, would you be inclined to acquit? The judge tells you all these Jury Instructions about, “if you find….” But suppose that you all agree that he shot the somebtich without a self defense or other posited defense. Would you not exercise your right of Jury Nullification and acquit the shooter? I would.

  5. “This isn’t the 1970s, people don’t blame the victim anymore…” -P Smith

    Victims are still “blamed”, at times.

    “The victims should speak out, and should be encouraged to speak. -P Smith

    True, but victims still (sometimes (frequently?) face an uphill battle, especially in situations like these. Sometimes their claims are dismissed, not believed, trivialized… Predators seek out the weak and vulnerable — they’re masters at “choosing” their prey.

  6. This sounds very reminiscent of the Swift Current Broncos in the 1980s, how the then-head coach and sexual predator Graham James molested his “favourite players” (read: stars of the team) over many years including NHLers like Sheldon Kennedy and Theoren Fleury. A player recently inducted into the NHL hall of fame (whom I won’t name) is rumoured to be another, though he has never said it himself.



    People looked the other way because of the coach’s success, because the subject was a taboo at the time. The victims should speak out, and should be encouraged to speak. This isn’t the 1970s, people don’t blame the victim anymore (unless the speaker is a catholic priest or Bill Donahue).

  7. Nal,

    Very informative piece on something of which I was unaware. You correctly point out that this is probably even more egregious than Penn State since this monster was an employee for 25 years. When we see this instance, Pen State, the BSA and the centuries old scandal of the RCC Priests, our minds are boggled by the fact that rather than supporting those abused in accordance with their own proffered principles, these organizations chose to try to cover them up.

  8. Disgusting case! It astounds me that the administrators of the school who turned a blind eye are not serving time in a state facility!

  9. Horrible. When you have male only clubs this shit will happen. I believe it is much less likely to occur in all female clubs, and almost impossible in clubs run by males and females. We need balance.

  10. Too many blind eyes…


    The White Tower Healing Foundation, Inc.


    “The White Tower Healing Foundation was formed by a group of Poly Alumni in response to the sexual, mental and physical abuse perpetrated by Philip Foglietta during his tenure as Head Football Coach from 1966-1991 and to address the incalculable damage he inflicted.

    It is our goal to identify abused alumni and provide a safe haven for them to come forward; reconcile them with the Poly Prep Community; provide educational programs on detection and prevention and address the importance of reporting issues of sexual and other kinds of abuse – because the abuse of any child affects us all.

    The Foundation aims to help survivors of sexual abuse both within and outside of the Poly Prep Community. To make progress, however, we need the Alumni of Poly Prep to find the strength and courage to reach out to their fellow Poly Brothers and Sisters, to join those already assembling in growing numbers, to provide support and offer help to those victims of this unspeakable cruelty.”

  11. The administrator is right. It is nothing like PENN State. It’s WORSE! It went on longer. There are more victims involved. The man was actually on staff when he engaged in this conduct and, among other things, when the conduct was reported directly to the administrators by the victims they threatened them.

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