Fired from one of the most prominent high schools in the valley, longtime Brophy College Prep teacher Dan Whitehead was dismissed over allegations of sexual misconduct. He was arrested Saturday morning for allegedly sexually abusing several male students over 20 years ago. The 71 year old is charged with sexual assault, attempted sexual abuse, furnishing harmful items to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The arrest comes almost a year after authorities were told about the alleged sexual assault and abuse. In November of 2011, two former students came forward and told staff at Brophy that Whitehead had touched each of them on their private parts against their will when they were at his house, but were reluctant to tell police what happened. The incidents occurred in the 1980’s when the men were teenagers who had Whitehead as a teacher at Brophy.
Why the two Brophy alums waited some 30 years to notify the school is somewhat of an enigma. A strong argument could be made that two particular well-publicized events could have factored in the chosen timing. Of course, I am referring to the two prominent cases making national headlines this year, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky and Syracuse University’s Bernie Fine — both accused of sexually abusing minors. And all that attention can stir up a lot of painful memories. It can also prompt some to finally speak up. It’s not unusual for sexual abuse victims to bury what happened to them.
Brophy Prep’s Vice President says counselors were on hand to talk to students and help them sort through what’s happened. The President says the school went public with the story to encourage any other alleged victims to come forward and contact the Phoenix police.
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