The Vanity Fair article “The Prep School And The Predator,” details the horrendous negligence of Marlborough School, a prestigious all-girls school in Los Angeles, regarding sexual abuse accusations of former English teacher Dr. Joseph Koetters. Vanity Fair called upon Dave Ring, California’s go-to attorney for sexual abuse victims, for a detailed account of the events involving his client “Holly”.
In the Summer of 2014, Former student Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie posted an online essay describing the flirtatious advances made by Koetters, which went viral among Marlborough graduates with several girls contacting her with their own stories of Koetters. Koetters would find reasons to have private meetings with his female students, which often resulted with him putting his hand on their knee; his signature move.
Among those girls was Holly. Koetters began to groom and condition Holly in the early 2000s during her. Before she knew it, they were having sex on a regular basis at his house while his wife was away at work. While she was frightened of getting caught, Koetters coached her through the affair. “He made me feel like the smartest, funniest, most beautiful person walking the planet,” Holly said.
During her senior year, Koetters impregnated Holly. He promised to “handle it” by making arrangements for her to get an abortion; however, two months later she miscarried.
When she read Mikaela’s essay, she reported Koetters to the new head of Polytechnic, where Koetters was teaching at the time. That same day Koetters resigned. Holly also wrote a letter to Marlborough’s Headmaster Barbara Wagner reprimanding her for failing to protect Mikaela and other girls like her.
“I never got any sense that Marlborough was interested in what Holly had to say,” said Mr. Ring. “The school and its investigators hoped she would just fade away, that the story would dissipate, and things would then return to ‘business as usual’ for the school.”