NBC 10 I-Team: Former Gordon School student speaks out about alleged sex abuse
Lisa Kantor was a seventh-grade student in 1975 at the Gordon School in East Providence. That particular time in her life has left an indelible, yet invisible mark on the now 55-year-old psychologist.
“Over the entire course of my seventh-grade year, Andy Cohen -- Mr. Cohen -- sexually abused me multiple times,” she said during an interview with the NBC 10 I-Team in Massachusetts, where the former Providence native now lives.
Kantor came forward after a notice went out to Gordon alumni in 2017. Another former student had made an allegation against Cohen and the school wanted to know if there were others.
She quickly learned she wasn't alone.
“I became profoundly aware that there are other kids out there. And if I can come forward, somebody might see this on the news and say wait a minute, my family knew this guy, I should check in with my kids…he needs to be exposed at this point for who he is. He's a pedophile. He's a predator and he's a pedophile,” she said.
East Providence Police opened a new investigation into the claims late last year. Eleven former students told detectives their stories.
Many former female students said they were also molested by Cohen when he taught between 1972 and 1977. School officials hired a private investigator.
Cohen, they said, denied the abuse allegations.
Then, in a new letter and statement sent out this week Gordon took a definitive position.
"We have worked closely with the victims and have dedicated our resources to investigate these claims, which we believe are true,” said the statement, in part.
At least one former student said she went to school officials and police in the 70s with complaints of sexual abuse. Cohen though was never charged and authorities today maybe hindered by time.
“The statute of limitations may be up on this guy from the crimes he committed in the 70s, however, as I say pedophiles have multiple victims and they don't stop. So, my guess is that there are victims more recent," Kantor said.
Cohen is now 69 years old and lives in Coventry. A woman who answered the door Tuesday said he wasn't available. He did not return a phone call left at his home on Monday.
“My primary motivation is to protect kids from this ever happening to them. My secondary wish from all of this is anyone he's already harmed understands that it is not their fault,” said Kantor.
It's unclear where Cohen may have taught after leaving Gordon in 1977. An online search shows he was the executive director of the now closed Ocean State Theatre Company.
A spokesperson for the Rhode Island Attorney General said the Cohen case is under review.