Survivor993 Is Not Alone: Lawsuits Show Abuse at School for At-Risk Teens

Liz Boysick, who attended the school from 2000 to 2001, said in a deposition that Mr. Geer sexually abused her, too. She said that he would hold her back after a class in the red barn and threaten to make her life “miserable” if she did not touch his genitals, which “escalated to oral sex.”

Ms. Boysick reported the abuse to a school administrator, who threatened her family, she said in her deposition. That administrator has since died.

Ms. Boysick filed a complaint with sheriff’s deputies in 2018, and investigators questioned Mr. Geer, who denied abusing her. Ms. Ianelli invited Mr. Geer to meet at a restaurant in 2018 and secretly recorded their conversation, which was later admitted as an exhibit in the lawsuits.

“I hurt people,” he told her. “I was a monster.” But he denied abusing students, in particular Ms. Boysick, in the barn. “That’s something I did not do,” he told Ms. Ianelli.

He was twice deposed in the lawsuits that were settled, and again he denied abusing students but admitted to speaking to them inappropriately about sexual matters. “I should never have done those things,” he said. “At the time, I wasn’t thinking I was doing something wrong.”

Approached recently by a reporter in his driveway in Hancock, Mr. Geer, now 54, was asked to comment on the accusations, and slowly shook his head and said, “No.” He turned and entered his house.

Eventually, the son of the Family Foundation School’s founders, Emmanuel Argiros, who goes by Michael, took over day-to-day operations. In depositions in 2018 and 2021, he denied knowing about any reports of abuse while at the school. He elaborated in a deposition last April. “The magnitude and frequency of these events seems impossible,” he said. “The school was so open physically, like people everywhere moving around.”

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