North Bay Prep School Names Former Educators Accused of Sexual Misconduct Dating to 1970s

A prestigious college prep school in the North Bay on Friday released findings from an independent investigation into sexual misconduct at the school which dates back to the 1970s.

The 17-page findings by San Francisco firm Covington & Burling LLP named four former educators at Branson School in Marin County, including a prominent soccer coach, who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct, ranging from non-consensual touching to rape, with students.

The independent investigation came after three Branson School graduates spoke up last spring about their experiences while they were students at the school in the 1970s to current Head of School Chris Mazzola, according to the report.

One former student, out of at least four contacted by investigators, who a 15-year-old sophomore said Director of Athletics and a soccer coach Rothwell "Rusty" Taylor "cornered" her at school and kissed her as he pinned her against the wall.

She said he continued to touch her into her junior year, according to the report. At one point, he invited her to him home and into his bedroom. When the student said she didn't want to go further, he raped her.

Another graduate who was on the soccer team said Taylor, who in his late twenties to mid-thirties, started touching at practice when she was 15 years old. She said that by the end of junior year, Taylor kissed her and instructed to perform oral sex on him, the investigation found.

Several other graduates confirmed to investigators that they remember both of the students discussing their experiences with Taylor. The two graduates say that it was "emotional for both of us to realize we suffered from the same thing," the report detailed.

The report also named former Athletics Director, from 1985-1989, Leslie “Les” Carroll; former graduate and volunteer coach Richard “Rich” Manoogian; and former college counselor from May 2011 to June 2013, Alistair Grant.

In total, there were 11 victims in the report. 

Taylor, Carroll and Manoogian didn't respond to investigator's request for comment or declined to speak. Grant denied any allegations against him. NBC Bay Area has not been able to reach the four for comment.

The school is asking for anyone in the community who may have information about other abuse at Branson to contact human resources.

Click here to read the full report.

Contact Us