April 01, 2020
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UMF fires professor who is under investigation for sexual abuse

File | BDN
File | BDN
The University of Maine at Farmington is pictured Jan. 22, 2019.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

The University of Maine at Farmington fired a part-time music faculty member recently and forbade his employment elsewhere in the University of Maine System after learning he is under investigation for sexual abuse of a minor student at a New York school where he used to work.

Bruce McInnes is the subject of an ongoing investigation into alleged acts of abuse between 1992 and 2000 when he was the choirmaster of the Grace Church School in New York City, according to an email UMF President Edward Serna sent to the campus Tuesday afternoon. McInnes joined UMF in 2006.

“We are not currently aware of any expressions of concern about Mr. McInnes during his employment at UMF or his time in the Farmington region,” Serna said in the email. “Nevertheless, the seriousness of the allegations and the findings of our review required that the University act to address an unacceptable risk.”

The college learned that McInnes was under investigation on Oct. 2. Two days later, the school placed him on administrative leave while it reviewed the allegations. In a legal claim filed in New York against Grace Church of New York, the Grace Church School and the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the plaintiff alleges that McInnes abused him, Serna said.

UMF formally terminated McInnes’ contract Jan. 10.

“We have coordinated closely with the Old South Church of Farmington, where Mr. McInnes was choir director until October 2019, and have committed to acting with transparency,” Serna said.

The Grace Church School is a private school in downtown Manhattan with students in junior kindergarten through grade 12, according to its website.

 


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