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Under fire: Graduates from Horace Mann School in the Bronx, New York have claimed repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a string of teachers went on for decades
A former student of an elite New York City prep school has revealed decades of sexual abuse at the institution, accusing a string of teachers of vile behaviour while suggesting others covered it up.

In New York Times Magazine, Amos Kamil, who graduated from Horace Mann in the Bronx in 1982, gives a harrowing insight into the hellish school years for scores of boys.

He details how a music teacher took a student on solo trips to Europe where he repeatedly raped him, and how an art teacher would demand the boys underwent 'physicals' in order to assault them.

In other graphic examples, the same teacher asked a student to pose for a portrait before demanding he strip, while another teacher would join the boys in the showers.

Kamil also documents the emotional turmoil the victims faced in the ensuing decades, with some even committing suicide when the school failed to act on their claims.

The accusations raise questions about a culture of denial at Horace Mann, where annual fees are $40,000, and notable alumni include Eliot Spitzer, Jack Kerouac and William P. Barr.

When Kamil joined the school in 1979, aged 14, a new friend immediately warned him about certain teachers. 'Perverts,' the boy said. 'Stay away from them. Trust me.'

While Kamil himself did not suffer any sexual abuse, he points out how ready teachers were to blur the lines, with the headmaster once inviting him over before plying him with gin and tonics.

Other students talked about Princeton-educated Mark Wright, an assistant football coach and art teacher at Horace Mann, who showed particular interest in a boy named Andrew.

Wright asked Andrew's parents if he could take the teen to an art museum, but when Andrew turned down the invitation, the teacher instead said he wanted to paint a portrait of him after school.

'I went to meet him in his art studio,' Andrew told Kamil. 'He locked the door and told me to undress.

'He told me to bring a bathing suit, but when I got there he said not to bother putting it on. I was really uncomfortable but did it anyway. [He said] he needed to see the connection between my legs.'

Wright then sexually assaulted the boy. 'I was so scared,' he remembered.

After the incident, Andrew said: 'It was really hard being at Horace Mann, knowing that if I ran into him, he would get up really close to me and say stuff like: "What's wrong, little buddy? You're not still mad about that time, are you?"'

Later, Andrew was summoned to the gym building for a 'physical'. '[I] didn't see any way out of it,' he said. Once there, the teacher began molesting him immediately, he said. He told him to stop and left.

Wright also assaulted other boys, Kamil reported. Eventually one football player reported it and, after the school's winter break, the teacher did not return to school. Wright died in 2004.

Frighteningly, Kamil wrote: 'Several faculty members of that era said that, to their knowledge, the school said nothing - not to the students, not to their families and not to the police.'

'Vile': Students have claimed music teacher Johannes Somary took them on solo trips and raped them. Despite complaints, he was never fired
In another harrowing example of the abuse, Johannes Somary, the head of the music department, honed in on one boy at a time, allegedly raping him repeatedly.

Somary, a Swiss-born world-renowned conductor, befriended a boy identified as 'M' and suggested they took a drive together.

'He then pulled me close to his chest,' M said. 'Then he starts kissing my lips. I'm thinking, Oh, my God, this can't be happening... I didn't know what to do. I was just a child.'

Somary then unzipped the boy's trousers and molested him. He started taking M on trips to Europe, where they stayed 'at the best hotels and ate at the finest restaurants'.

'I was expected to have sex with him and did even though it repulsed me every time,' he said.

He told his parents he no longer wanted to stay in the same room as his teacher. Somary visited his house 'like a jilted lover' and begged him to stay in his room, 'right in front of my father,' M said.

The abuse continued into M's time at college. He added: 'I don't know why I let it go on for so long. I've been asking myself that for decades.'

Other students spoke of abuse at the hands of Somary, including Benjamin Balter who went on a music trip in 1993. Soon after, he tried to commit suicide with pills.

When his mother confronted the teacher, he said: 'Ben kissed me first!' When she said: 'How dare you put your tongue down my son's mouth!' his replied: 'That's how we Swiss kiss.'

But after reporting it to the school, staff came out in support of the teacher and nothing was done. Ben killed himself in 2009 with antidepressants and alcohol.

Somary continued working at the school until his retirement in 2002, when he was 67. He died last year. Of the abuse, M said: 'I have been running from this thing most of my life.'

Another teacher, Stanley Kops, allegedly joined the boys in the showers after swimming practice. He resigned after he groped himself in front of a boy, who then yelled for help. He later shot himself.

Of the accusations, the school has said: 'As an educational institution, we are deeply concerned if allegations of abuse of children are raised, regardless of when or where they may have occurred.'

It went on: 'The article contains allegations dating back, in some instances, 30 years, long before the current administration took office, which makes it difficult to accurately respond to the factual allegations therein.

'In addition, on June 13, 1984, there was a fire in the attic of the business office that destroyed some records.'