Victim after victim took the stand Friday to tell a judge how a former teacher at The Potomac School in northern Virginia abused them four decades ago. News4's Mark Segraves reports.
Victim after victim took the stand Friday to tell a judge how a former teacher at The Potomac School in northern Virginia abused them four decades ago.
Christopher Kloman was sentenced to 43 years in prison for sexually assaulting students in the 1960s and 1970s, News4 Washington's Mark Segraves reported.
Kloman, 74, pleaded guilty in August to four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and a count of abduction with intent to defile. He was charged last fall almost a year after one of his former students came forward to say Kloman abused her as a12-year-old in the 1960s. She came forward after seeing him teaching at Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda, Md.
"Imagine my surprise, walking down the hallway of my son’s school a couple of years ago, and seeing Mr. Kloman, the seventh grade teacher who assaulted me in a swimming pool 40 years earlier," Anne Sullivan said. "Kloman still had access to kids? My son’s classmates could be his victims? Enough."
Several other victims also came forward over the course of the investigation, News4 Washington’s Erika Gonzalez reported last year.
"After five months of abuse – five months – I made myself numb, emotionally shut down in order to cope with my internal misery of guilt and shame at being lured, and now it’s called groomed, and raped," Cricket Beauregard said.
Victims told the judge how Kloman earned their trust as young students only to turn around and sexually assault them. They were young girls all between 12 and 14 years old when it happened.
Kloman would not look at the victims as each of them testified, even when one yelled at him to look at her. He showed no emotion.
When his sons, daughter and wife testified on his behalf, he broke down. He tried to read a written statement but became too emotional. Later, he composed himself enough to tell the victims he was sorry and it wasn't their fault.
Kloman could have been sentenced to life.
Kloman taught at The Potomac School in McLean from 1966 to 1994 and went on to teach at other schools in the area.
The school sent a letter to parents saying they applaud the courage of the victims and hope everyone can heal from this, but that isn't enough for the victims, who've hired attorney Gloria Allred, who said they will decide whether to sue the school after they meet with school officials.
"Today, this sexual predator is going to prison," Laura Gill said. "There is certainly justice in that fact. The truth remains, however, that I did not have to be Chris Kloman’s victim. I believe that others reported Kloman years before this ever happened to me."
The Potomac School said it was “deeply disturbed” by the case and that protocols are in place to protect students.