In the middle of February 2021, Regis High School opened an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment brought up against Reverend Daniel Lahart, high school president. Several adult faculty members allege that while Reverend Lahart served as Regis High School's president, he addressed them using language of a persistently sexual nature. They also note that his conduct became increasingly sexualized in private situations. According to Anthony DiNovi, the chairman of the Regis High School Board of Trustees, these parties requested that the reverend cease his behavior, but their requests were ignored.
Regis High School and the Allegations
Regis High School is considered one of the most commanding Catholic private schools operating in New York State. It does not charge its students tuition to attend. Its reputation rests both in its generosity and in its impressive list of alumni, many of whom made names for themselves at public and private universities after their graduation. Among their number is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is nowadays one of the most recognizable medical practitioners in the United States.
The investigation into Reverend Lahart's behavior as Regis High School president began in February. At this point, the high school released a letter to its students, parents, and staff, noting that Reverend Lahart was to be placed on administrative leave. In this letter, DiNovi notes that the high school's Board of Trustees called in a third party, T&M USA, to investigate the allegations brought against its president while maintaining an objective eye.
Reverend Lahart, according to DiNovi, did not participate in the investigation into his behavior. The high school has not and will not release further information regarding the reverend's behavior, citing the school's privacy rules as well as its desire to protect the identities of all of those parties involved.
Meanwhile, Regis High School hopes to separate itself from Reverend Lahart's recent conviction. The high school intends to appoint Christian Talbot, a Regis alumni, as interim president.
New York State's Rise in Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Reverend Lahart is not the only representative of the Catholic Church who may come under fire for sexual misconduct in the weeks to come. Every diocese in New York State is currently under investigation for the handling of sexual misconduct. These investigations are helmed by Letitia James, the New York State attorney general. Ms. James pursued similar cases in 2020, at which time she brought to light a history of sexual abuse cover-ups helmed by the Diocese of Buffalo.
Accusations of academic misconduct can shock their surrounding community. In the case of Daniel Lahart, Regis High School is left attempting to reconcile its reputation as a prestigious haven for academics with the behaviors of its once-president. In the face of this and the other investigations that the dioceses of New York State will face, DiNovi notes that “[the Regis community] is a strong community, and I believe will emerge from this experience even stronger.”
The Lento Law Firm offers case consultations to any parties accused of sexual misconduct or facing sexual misconduct disciplinary proceedings. Reach out today by calling 888-535-3686 or via the firm's online form.