Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Settlement Reached in Marlborough Sexual Abuse Case

The Los Angeles Times reports today that Marlborough School has reached a legal settlement with former student Chelsea Burkett, now 33, who became pregnant by a Marlborough teacher at age 16, while a student at the school in the early 2000s.

Details of the settlement remained confidential, but Burkett’s lawyer, David Ring (who also represents another reported victim of the teacher), was quoted by the Times as saying, “It has been a very difficult road for Chelsea and the other victim…We are very pleased that Chelsea’s case reached a resolution against Marlborough.”

According to the Times, Burkett’s original complaint “detailed how former English teacher Joseph Thomas Koetters, now 50, singled Burkett out in class and made her feel special and independent, how he gradually pulled her in and convinced her that she was in love with him, and that they were in an adult relationship. The contacts built from emails to sexual acts outside school.”

Koetters was sentenced to a year in jail in 2015, as a result of Burkett’s complaint, and was released in May, 2016.  The name of the second victim in the case, who filed a separate complaint against Koetters, has not been publicly released.  Marlborough’s former head of school, Barbara Wagner, resigned in 2014, following an investigation into her handling of the incidents.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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