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Former Prep School Dean Pleads Guilty To Assault

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File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ The former dean of an exclusive Connecticut boarding school has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting students.

Robert Reinhardt pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor a day before jury selection for his trial was scheduled to start.

He was sentenced to 27 years in prison, with 9 1/2 to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. He must also register as a sex offender. He faced up to 60 years if convicted at trial.

He pleaded under the Alford Doctrine, which means while he doesn’t agree with all the state’s allegations, he acknowledges there is enough evidence for conviction.

Four former male students at The Gunnery School in Washington, Conn. had accused the 46-year-old Reinhardt of abuse.

Reinhardt’s lawyer called the sentence “significant.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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