Who is Roger Stifflemire? Ex-students who accused teacher of sexual abuse sue elite Darlington School for $345M

Roger Stifflemire supervised students between the ages of 13 and 17 in the 1970s and 80s, which is when he allegedly sexually abused them


                            Who is Roger Stifflemire? Ex-students who accused teacher of sexual abuse sue elite Darlington School for $345M
Darlington School was allegedly informed about the abuse years earlier but it refused to take action against Roger Stifflemire (L) (Darlington School/Facebook, 11alive video screenshot)
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ROME, GEORGIA: As many as 20 former students of Georgia’s Darlington School have filed suit for $345 million in damages over alleged sexual abuse they faced at the hands of a former teacher years ago. The suit reportedly targets insurance companies that covered the school. 

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The allegations of abuse initially surfaced in a 2017 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, claiming that the school was informed about the abuse years earlier but it refused to take action. The statute of limitations later expired. The former students, who call themselves the 'Darlington Survivors', first settled a lawsuit against the accused Roger Stifflemire, and under its terms, he did not have to compensate the students.

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However, the process let the man pursue an insurance settlement. The insurers covered Darlington during the years the ex-students claimed they were abused by Stifflemire at the school, and on field trips.

Who is Roger Stifflemire?

Roger Stifflemire worked as an English teacher and dorm supervisor for years at the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia. Now 81, he lives in Alabama. He never acknowledged abusing his students. Although Darlington did commission an investigation into the allegations, it did not make the conclusions public. 

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Stifflemire oversaw students between the ages of 13 and 17 during the 1970s and 80s when allegedly sexually abused them. He was employed at the school between 1974 to 1994. The students, now in their 40s and 50s, alleged that Stifflemire "groomed" them, performed oral sex on them, and catcalled them, according to the Daily Mail. He allegedly also took them on weekend trips to a private ski club. They accused him of forcing them to have sex with him at his off-campus apartment, and sexually abusing them while on outings on and off of school property. 

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Darlington eventually took Stifflemire’s name from a plaque honoring “memorable” and “influential” teachers. It later unveiled a new monument dedicated to the sexual abuse victims. According to the school's website, "Darlington was organized and incorporated “not for pecuniary gain” but “for educational and literary purposes, in which may be taught all branches of learning.” Today, Darlington is so much more than a college-preparatory school. It's a place where curiosity can grow into wisdom. A place where empathy transforms into service. And where honesty galvanizes into honor."

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'Darlington Survivors' set up a Facebook page to "create a safe place for other victims to feel comfortable coming forward." "We wanted to create a place of transparency because the secret has been kept for far too long. And, we wanted to create a forum for the Darlington Community to express their love and support. It is our intention to help heal the wounds that have hurt us all for so long, give us all a “voice” to break the silence and speak the truth and finally, give us all hope for a new beginning at Darlington School," the group said. 

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