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Former Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse Resigns As School Teacher In Westchester

Fairfield Prep
Fairfield Prep Photo Credit: Fairfield Prep (Facebook)

A former teacher and priest at a private prep schools in Westchester and Fairfield County has resigned after being one of 50 charged with sexually abusing minors last month.

Robert Cornigans, an educator who lived and worked at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, who taught English since 2004, resigned immediately on Jan. 15 when his name was on a list of Jesuits charged with abusing minors.

A dozen priests - including Cornigans - from New York and Connecticut who once worked at Fairfield University or Fairfield College Preparatory School were among the list released by the USA Northeast Province Jesuits. Priests on the list have been accused as early as 1950.

“Many accusations were made decades after the abuse allegedly took place, and often after the accused Jesuit had died," the USANPJ said. "Jesuits with allegations currently under investigation are not included on this list.”

In a letter to parents, Masters said that officials spoke with Cornigans immediately when his name was listed, and he was removed from the campus within days. Upper school students were notified, though younger students were not told of the allegations, and the school left that to parents to determine the best course of action.

Cornigans was a priest with the Jesuits until 1981. In 2003, one of his alleged victims reported being abused decades earlier while he was a teacher at Boston College High School in Massachusetts. He later worked at Fairfield Prep.

Masters has launched an investigation led by T&M Protection Resources. 

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