Former Student Breaks Silence, Comes Forward Publicly Under the New York Child Victims Act
(Brooklyn, NY) – Today, on behalf of former Poly Prep student and abuse survivor Christopher Forbes, attorneys from the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Abend & Silber filed a child sexual abuse complaint against Brooklyn’s prestigious Poly Prep Country Day School. The complaint, brought under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA), is another in a long string of sexual abuse claims against the school related to the conduct of famed former head varsity football coach, Phillip Foglietta.
“The abuse that occurred to Christopher and other members of the football team at Poly Prep over so many years is shocking. And to make matters worse, the staff and administrators of the school allowed it to continue to happen,” said attorney Josh Silber. “Christopher has taken a bold step by bringing this case and his motives align with ours […] an overriding sense that this is an opportunity to shine a light on the sins of the past so that the next generations of children will not have to suffer the way Christopher and the boys of Poly Prep suffered.”
The first known formal child sexual abuse allegation against Coach Foglietta was made to school administrators in approximately 1966. It was dismissed by administrators who removed the student from the school and took no action against Foglietta. Three years later Foglietta began abusing Christopher Forbes, from approximately 1969 to 1971. Over the following years, despite a steady stream of reports of abuse, Foglietta was allowed to continue his work with children and steadily gain notoriety for his top-tier leadership in New York high-school sports.
“It’s no secret that Poly Prep administrators prioritized the school’s reputation and athletic prowess over the wellbeing of the students entrusted to their care,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “Christopher is bravely adding his voice to the growing chorus of survivors calling out Poly Prep administrators – past and present – for their complicity in Foglietta’s career-spanning sexual predation of children.”
Although Forbes has the right to file anonymously under the CVA, he has chosen to file publicly. He has provided the following statement about this decision:
“I was not ready when I heard about a prior lawsuit several years ago. I was happy there was something happening, but I didn’t speak up back then and regretted it. When I heard that Governor Cuomo had changed the law and gave us a window to speak up I knew that my situation was exactly the reason they made this law and I didn’t want to regret not speaking up this time. The school knew what was going on. They covered this up and I don’t want to let it happen to any more kids.”
Since the CVA lookback window opened in August of 2019, Silber and Anderson’s firms have been working with hundreds of survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions throughout New York. “Poly Prep provided a safe haven for Foglietta to target, groom and sexually abuse numerous high school students with impunity for decades, while meeting brave survivors like Christopher Forbes with dismissals and threats,” said attorney Trusha Goffe of Jeff Anderson & Associates. “Today, Christopher is finally afforded the chance to share his truth under the Child Victims Act and hold the school accountable for their crimes and cover-ups.”