A lawsuit was filed yesterday by two former Tri-Valley Central School District students who allege that Donald Wales, then an elementary school teacher, sexually abused them multiple times between 1979 and 1984 - both on school grounds and at other sites that included Wales' home, at Grossinger's and parked in a car at the Rondout Reservoir.
The plaintiffs are Jeffrey Cloonan and Sean Boyle, whose attorneys filed the suit under New York State's Child Victims Act (CVA) that took effect in August 2019.
Tri -Valley Elementary School, Tri-Valley Central School District and the Board of Education of the Tri-Valley Central School District are also named with Wales as defendants in the case.
This suit, filed in State Supreme Court/Sullivan County, follows another CVA suit filed in 2019 against Wales with similar allegations. The plaintiff in that case is Mark Dolgas. (His case is on the calendar again March 23 before State Supreme Court Justice Michael L. Mackey).
Reached today about the new lawsuit, Tri-Valley Board of Education President Keri Poley, declined comment, citing pending litigation. School Superintendent Michael Williams also declined comment.
The SullivanTimes today has reached out to the plaintiffs in both cases and their attorneys as well as Wales' defense attorney. Wales, now 85, and believed to be living in Florida, could not be reached for comment at press time. A phone number listed under his name went to voice mail.
The latest suit alleges that between 1972 and 1984 "it is believed that Wales sexually abused or had improper contact with dozens of boys who were students at Tri-Valley Elementary School." During the 1980s, at least five of those boys who settled their lawsuits with the district and Wales, according to the latest suit.
Wales had a prior history of sexual abuse while teaching in the Warwick Central School District. While on criminal probation after sodomizing a student there, in 1972 he applied for a position at Tri-Valley. He received a written offer of employment in July 1972, according the latest lawsuit.
Other local CVA lawsuits include multiple cases against the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America, which owns Ten Mile River scout camps in Narrowsburg, and one against Camp Agudah in Liberty.