Four Connecticut Arts Organizations Sued In Connection with Sexual Abuse of Teen Girls
Lawsuits have been filed against three Connecticut arts organizations stemming from allegations of sexual abuse brought against local director, Daniel Checovetes.
According to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Waterbury, Checovetes used his position to cast and then sexually abuse teen girls in his productions.
The lawsuit, filed by three female former company members, takes aim at Checovetes as well as Connecticut arts organizations, Naugatuck Teen Theater, the Landmark Community Theatre, the Warner Theatre and the Thomaston Opera House.
The women allege that the institutions had prior knowledge of employees arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.
"It appeared it was an open secret within the theater community. The culture was such that we believe adult participants knew but chose not to report the abuse. This is the same community that welcomed back a known sex offender," said the women's attorney Jason Tremont.
According to the lawsuit, the incidents took place between 2009 and 2016 at local theaters and performance spaces, as well as other locations.
The girls, then 14, 16, and 17, enrolled in the Naugatuck Teen Theater with two girls pursuing acting and the third training in lighting design. This is where the alleged abuse began.
"It is no coincidence that Checovetes was heavily involved in and directed teen theater. This gave him unique access to underage teens whom he groomed and then sexually abused," said Tremont.
He continued, "Checovetes used their love of theater to place the girls in roles in his productions as part of his grooming process to gain their trust and have access to them,"
Read the full story here.
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