Teacher at Miss Hall’s School accused of preying on female students


Teacher at Miss Hall’s School accused of preying on female students

A veteran teacher at an upper-crust Massachusetts boarding and day school for girls has resigned amid allegations that he groomed several students for sex during the 30-plus years he taught at Miss Hall’s School. Matthew Rutledge, who is 62 and mainly taught history at the school in Pittsfield, was placed on administrative leave on March 27 and resigned days later after a former student came forward and reported him to the school administration for allegedly sexually abusing and exploiting her when she was a student and after she graduated, according to a letter the school sent to alumni on April 3.

Quick Facts

  • Allegations of grooming and sexual abuse led to the resignation of Matthew Rutledge, a long-time teacher at Miss Hall’s School.
  • Multiple former students have come forward with accusations against Rutledge, leading to an external investigation.
  • The school has initiated contact with authorities and legal representatives to address the situation.

That former student, Melissa Fares, disclosed that she reported Rutledge to the school in a post on April 8 to a private Facebook group of Miss Hall’s School alumni. Since then, two other women have come forward with claims that Rutledge also preyed on them, said one of their attorneys, Eric MacLeish of MacLeish Law. “He was very good at exploiting girls,” MacLeish said.

Julia Heaton, the head of school at Miss Hall’s School, released a statement Tuesday in response to the reports that two more former students were accusing Rutledge of sex abuse by stating that they are “initiating a neutral, external investigation in response to the information we have received from the courageous women who brought their experiences to the attention of the School and broader community.” MacLeish, who is best known for representing hundreds of Catholic priests’ sex abuse victims in Boston, said “since Melissa came forward we’ve received calls from other women.”

So far, MacLeish said, three women have signed “representation agreements” with him and another lawyer working on these cases, Kristin Knuuttila of Knuuttila Law, LLC. Founded in 1898 and located on a leafy campus in the Berkshires, Miss Hall’s School is one of the first girls’ boarding schools in New England. It’s for girls grades 9 through 12 and for those who board there the tuition is about $60,000 a year.


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