Curtis Institute hires outside law firm to investigate sexual-assault claims

Posted on: November 11, 2019

“In the wake of an Inquirer report in July detailing allegations of sexual misconduct at the Curtis Institute of Music, the school has hired a Philadelphia law firm to investigate across a wide swath of the school’s past,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (11/7) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Cozen O’Connor lawyers Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie M. Gomez are undertaking a comprehensive review of Curtis’ ‘history present and past when it comes to any kind of sexual misconduct,’ president and CEO Roberto Díaz said Thursday. The firm was brought in after allegations by the violinist Lara St. John that she was raped by violin teacher Jascha Brodsky in the 1980s and had her complaints repeatedly ignored by the school. The Inquirer article contained claims by other women that they were subjected to sexual advances by Brodsky.… The Cozen O’Connor investigation is in addition to a hotline set up in August for fielding sexual misconduct claims—a … service that some Curtis alumni and outside experts have described … as inadequate…. The two lawyers have already helped the school revamp some of its policies and procedures relating to sexual misconduct, and it will now seek input from the Curtis community that could lead to further revisions.”

Posted November 11, 2019