© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Berkshire DA appoints special investigator to explore history of Miss Hall’s School sexual misconduct allegations

The Miss Hall's School campus in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Josh Landes
The Miss Hall's School campus in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The Berkshire District Attorney has appointed a special investigator to look into a sexual abuse scandal that erupted at a Pittsfield, Massachusetts boarding school this spring.

According to a spokesperson, first-term Berkshire DA Timothy Shugrue has tapped retired Detective Lieutenant Brian Berkel of the State Police Detective Unit to serve as special investigator into allegations of misconduct at Miss Hall’s School. Former students of the private all-girls school have come forward with allegations that since-resigned history teacher Matthew Rutledge groomed, abused, and manipulated them into sexual relationships over the course of his 30-plus year tenure. WAMC’s reporting into the situation revealed that Rutledge’s behavior was well known on campus across the decades by students and staff alike. Berkel, who retired in 2021, serves as the board of trustees president of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention per the group’s website. His LinkedIn page says he serves as the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Coordinator for the Berkshire County Kids' Place & Violence Prevention Center, a nonprofit co-founded by Shugrue, as well as an investigator for the Juvenile Court Department. The school has pledged to cooperate with investigations.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
Related Content