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Sex abuse accuser takes Rockefeller University to court to see what the school knew about Dr. Reginald M. Archibald, who is named as molester

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A former Rockland County judge who has accused a Rockefeller University doctor of sexually abusing him is demanding a judge unseal 60-year-old grand jury records that may shed light on what university officials knew, when they knew it and whether they should have acted.

The application to unseal the records, filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court, requests the court make public transcripts and physical evidence presented to a grand jury in 1960 and 1961 as part of a probe into Dr. Reginald M. Archibald.

“Judge Apotheker, along with hundreds of other victims and survivors of Dr. Archibald’s abuse has a compelling and particularized need for the requested grand jury materials in order to successfully prosecute his actions against Rockefeller University,” the new court petition states.

Archibald, an endocrinologist who died in 2007, is accused of sexually molesting hundreds of children who were brought to him to treat growth disorders from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Jennifer Freeman, who’s representing Coleman, Apotheker and hundreds of others who’ve accused Archibald of abuse, said the early 1960s probe into the doctor is important because it’s clear from the May 2019 Rockefeller report that a former university president was aware of accusations against Archibald dating back six decades.

It is also clear, based on one court exhibit, that records from the 1960s exist. That exhibit, a letter from the Manhattan D.A.’s Office written in response to a Freedom of Information Law request from a law firm, shows that in 1961 there was a logbook entry including Archibald’s name and a citation of Penal Law 483, which deals with child sex abuse.

Freeman said she is working under the assumption that some of the sealed records came from the school.

She described the process of interviewing the hundreds of people she represents as grueling and she hopes unsealing some records will help lead them to some form of closure.

“It is heartbreaking to hear story after story about how this doctor, an esteemed doctor, abused child after child in horrible ways,” she said. “This went on for 40 years. How is that even possible?”

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