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更新时间:2017-5-27 11:09:38 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

‘Love, Rick’: Teacher’s Letters Track an Attempted Seduction

The first letter was hand-delivered, written on a store-bought card that was as goofy as it was flirtatious. The sender, who signed it as Rick, apologized that he was not around when its recipient, Jane, stopped by. He invited her to come back for poetry and wine.


The note seemed innocent enough, but Jane Marion was 16 when she received it. Rick, whose full name was Frederic Lyman, was 11 years her senior, and her teacher at Phillips Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts.

这张便笺似乎足够纯洁无邪,但简·马里昂(Jane Marion)收到它时只有16岁。而全名为弗雷德里克·莱曼(Frederic Lyman)的瑞克比她年长11岁,是她在马萨诸塞州安多弗知名寄宿学校菲利普斯学院(Phillips Academy)的老师。

It was the start of a correspondence that began with cheerful notes on graded papers, then progressed to Lyman’s tempting her with flattery and romance. When she resisted, he offered praise, or scolded her or made a carefully calibrated threat. When she finally drew away, he was enraged.


The letters came to light as a growing number of elite private schools release in-depth reports about the sexual abuse of students by faculty members, much of it kept quiet for decades as the schools sought to guard their reputations. In just the last six weeks, Choate Rosemary Hall, in Connecticut; St. Paul’s School, in New Hampshire; and Emma Willard, an all-girls school near Albany, New York, have made such investigations public.

在越来越多精英私立学校发布关于教职员工性侵学生的深度报告之际,上述信函被曝光——此前数十年间,为了保全自己的名声,这些学校对很多这样的事都秘而不宣。仅仅六周时间里,公布此类调查信息的就有康涅狄格州的乔特罗斯玛丽中学(Choate Rosemary Hall)、新罕布什尔州的圣保罗中学(St. Paul's School)以及纽约州奥尔巴尼附近的艾玛威拉德女子中学(Emma Willard)。

At those schools, and many others, teachers who were forced out for sexual misconduct moved on to teach elsewhere, sometimes with the help of the administrators who made them leave. The schools almost never reported suspected abuse to the authorities.


Such was the case with Lyman, who is one of 12 men named in the Choate report. He taught at the school from 1980 to 1982, and investigators say that during that time Lyman groomed and then sexually abused two young women. He served students tea spiked with rum and took them out for dinner and drinks. He wrote romantic letters. He had sex with them in his car and his apartment. He gave at least one of them herpes. He went on to stalk one of the girls, and left her with a black eye. The entanglements lasted for years.


Lyman was forced to leave Choate, but was given a recommendation and got another teaching job at a private school in Colorado, where he lasted two years. He appears to have left teaching in 1984.


But before he arrived at Choate, he was a teacher at Andover. It was there, during the summer session in 1979, that he was Marion’s English teacher.


Marion shared the series of letters — five in all, written in 1979 and 1980 — with The New York Times. They provide a rare window into the mind of a man who would later be accused of being a predator. Their relationship never became physical, but the letters show Lyman coaxing her to cross that line.


“It has haunted me all these years,” Marion said of the experience. “I see pictures of this young person that I was, and I wish I could tell her, ‘Run the other way!'”


Lyman was given the opportunity to review the letters, and in response, he provided a statement through his lawyer:


“In re-reading these letters nearly 40 years after writing them, I see the ramblings of a lovesick young man who was 27 years old at the time,” he wrote in an email. “However, my lapse in judgment was inexcusable. I breached the trust and overstepped the boundaries between student and teacher. Due to my own immaturity, I considered my students to be peers and friends, which was a mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life. I am deeply sorry for any pain or discomfort my actions may have caused.”


Marion said that exchanges between them began when she bought him a get-well card after he had missed class because he was feeling ill. He then began writing personal notes on her academic papers. He would give her a grade, critique her work and then, in a different colored pen, write something more familiar, asking her to play tennis, or saying he would help her break curfew.


She remembered talking to him about James Taylor and Robert Frost, listening to music in his apartment. They went off campus to the library together one day, alone. He was handsome and he was her teacher, and she was flattered. This was Marion’s first experience with what seemed like romance, she said, and she thought she was in love with him. But she was also frightened, and she kept a wall up between them.

她记得曾经跟他谈论詹姆斯·泰勒(James Taylor)和罗伯特·弗罗斯特(Robert Frost),在他的公寓里听音乐。有一天,他们离开校园,一起去了图书馆。他相貌堂堂,又是她的老师,她感到受宠若惊。马里昂说这是她第一次有类似浪漫的感受,她以为自己爱上了他。但她也感到害怕,并一直在两人之间保持着距离。

“There was this fantasy person, who I didn’t really want to have as my boyfriend, but I had a romantic notion of him,” she said. “And then there was this real man making these moves,” she added. “I think when I got too close to the flame, I would draw back.”


It appears in the letters that he noticed.


The next year, during the summer of 1980, Marion attended summer session at Harvard while Lyman was again teaching at Andover. Another woman approached The New York Times last month to say that during that summer, when she was a student, Lyman had tried to groom her, as well. They held hands and walked with their arms around one another. He would sing to her a James Taylor song. On a group camping trip, she woke in the middle of the night to find Lyman kissing and stroking her arms.


That same summer, he was writing letters to Marion and speaking to her by phone, trying to persuade her to meet him in Boston.


Dearest Jane,” began a letter he sent in early July. “I miss you so much.”


Lyman continued: “So you’re a Harvard girl? Would you accept a night or two out on the town? Or an adventure out to Ashby? I’d love to see you. Please call collect any night.” He signed off: “I’m so glad you’re in Boston. Love, Rick.”


Tracy M. Sweet, a spokeswoman for Andover, said the school had referred reports about Lyman to an outside firm to investigate. The school announced last year that five former faculty members, three of whom it named, had abused students in the 1970s and 1980s. Lyman was not among them.

安多弗的发言人翠西·M·斯威特(Tracy M. Sweet)表示,学校已将有关莱曼的报道转交给一家外部公司调查。这所学校去年宣布,有五名前教职员工——其中三人指明了身份——在上世纪70年代和80年代曾做出侵犯学生的行为。莱曼不在其中。