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News

Elite All-Girls School Settles Lawsuit With Former Student Impregnated By Teacher

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Marlborough School, a private all-girls' school in Hancock Park, has reached a settlement with Chelsea Burkett, a former student who was impregnated by English teacher Joseph Thomas Koetters as a junior at Marlborough.

Details of the settlement, which was presided over by an L.A. Superior Court Judge, have been sealed under a confidentiality clause, the L.A. Times reports. Burkett, now 33, filed a civil suit against Marlborough School for failing to protect her from Koetters' abuse, stating in an ABC News "Nightline" interview last April that she suffered from bulimia and attempted suicide after her sexual abuse at Koetter's hands, which resulted in her becoming pregnant and miscarrying at age 16 in 2002.

Koetters was arrested in February 2015 and sentenced to a year in jail in October 2015 for his abuse of Burkett—whose identity was not made public at the time of that lawsuit—as well as another Marlborough student. Marlborough apologized publicly to the two claimants at the time of Koetters' 2015 sentencing, but in 2016, the school accused Burkett—who was inspired to take action by an XO Jane piece written by another former Marlborough student victimized by Koetters—of "negligence and carelessness" in not coming forward earlier.

The terms of Marlborough's settlement with Burkett have not been made public; LAist reached out to Marlborough for comment, but did not immediately hear back.