Alleged victims of sexual abuse at Lake Forest High School speak out years later

Seven people have filed a lawsuit against two former teachers, Lake Forest High School and the school district.

They say they were all victims of sexual abuse.

What they want now is transparency and acknowledgement of what they say happened.

"We realized it was not just bad behavior by some individuals, but there was a culture that let this happen. Not only let it happen. A lot of it happened in the school," said Richard Wolfgram.

Wolfgram is talking about his experience as a junior at Lake Forest High School in the 70s. He says he was abused by teacher David Miller, who was known for running the prestigious Telecom Media Arts program.

"When nobody was around, he’d pull me into a room and give me a hug. Those hugs became more physical over time and ultimately twice my junior year he open mouth kissed me in the school," Wolfgram said.  

He told no one until 2019 when he decided, he wanted to talk about it. So he contacted the school superintendent and the Lake Forest Police Department who told him they had a file on Miller because other victims had come forward.

Law firm Goldberg and Goldberg has now filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven victims.


Joining Richard is former Lake Forest High School student Christopher Holvenstot.

"I’d like to think that the burden these victims carry could be shifted onto the people and organizations responsible for child safety among other things. That’s what I’d like to achieve with this lawsuit," Holvenstot said.

"The school and the school board are the only parties to this that would have access to a lot of the information about what happened when these kids were students at the high school," said attorney Ian Alexander.

Alexander says they asked to see the results of what the school board told them was an independent investigation by an attorney, but they were denied.

"When I asked for this, I was told that it would be unlikely that we would have access but she would have to check with her client which was the school board. And when I heard that, I knew everything I needed to know about the investigation and that it was going to be used to shield the school board from the liability of the actions of the monsters that were in their employ for 30 plus years," Alexander said.

A second lawsuit that attorneys filed also names former teacher and coach Cynthia Martin, who they say sexually abused female students for years.

The lawsuit says David Miller was allowed to resign in 2009 after an inappropriate comment he made years ago, and that Martin quietly moved to another district.

However, those fighting for justice say it is not over.  

"Nobody is going to get past this until there is a reconciling as to what happened to these people and likely many other students," Alexander said.

The school's interim superintendent says that because the allegations were made to a previous superintendent, the school is working with police and brought in an independent expert to review the district's response to the allegations. They say they recognize there is more work to be done.