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New details emerge about deaths and abuse at Dozier School for Boys

8 February 2015 14:26

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Forensic researchers have identified the remains of two more bodies from graves at a notorious Florida reform school in the US city of Marianna.

The two bodies are from 51 recovered so far at the grounds of Arthur G Dozier School for Boys, which is the center of a decades-long abuse scandal, according to an interim report by Tampa-based anthropologists from the University of South Florida.

The anthropologists submitted their report to Florida’s senior politicians while they are preparing for the final stages of their excavation at the school which has run for three years.

“After three years our focus is more than ever on the present, educating the living about what happened in the past, mourning with families of those who died at Dozier and supporting them as they seek justice,” the investigation team’s leader, Erin Kimmerle, said in the report.

Kimmerle said that it is unlikely to file charges against the perpetrators because of the deaths of many former employees as well as the statute of limitations on crimes committed almost a century ago.

“Even in cases where law enforcement and prosecutors are unable to file criminal charges, transparency and acknowledgement of the abuses are important components for reconciling conflict,” Kimmerle noted.

Investigators also disclosed horrendous new details about the extent of sexual and physical abuse against the mostly African-American students including a clandestine “rape dungeon,” where students below the age of 12 were molested.

According to the researchers, officials “consistently under-reported” the number of deaths between 1900, when the school was opened, and 1960 the latest date for which records are available.

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