August 24, 2018

Holy Cross artist-in-residence resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

Photo | Grant Welker
The College of the Holy Cross has parted ways with its embattled artist-in-residence.

An acclaimed organist has resigned from his post as distinguished artist-in-residence at Worcester's College of the Holy Cross amid sexual misconduct allegations.

The Boston Globe was the first to report of the allegations, which come from a group of former students. The alumni wrote Holy Cross president Philip Boroughs earlier this month, alleging that James David Christie was an imminent threat to students.

"Several of us were sexually abused by Prof. Christie while we were Holy Cross students," the group wrote in its Aug. 3 letter, as reported by the Globe. "Holy Cross has enabled Prof. Christie's misconduct and has a responsibility now to respond to our coming forward as quickly and decisively as possible."

On Friday, the school responded shortly after the Globe's story was published. In a statement, Boroughs said he was deeply saddened and disturbed to read the Globe's story, which details sexual misconduct by Christie on former students.

According to Boroughs, the college took immediate steps after receiving the Aug. 3 letter: Christie wa placed on administrative leave and was barred from campus and interacting with college community members.

On Friday, Christie no longer had a faculty bio on the college's website.

"Mr. Christie submitted a letter of resignation last week and will not be returning to the College," Boroughs said. "I am committed to completing the review of his conduct regardless of his resignation."

The Globe's report included interviews with several victims who described inappropriate touching, heavy drinking and unprotected sex with Christie, whom they looked up to as a renowned musician who has performed nationally.

"I want them to know that I hear them," Boroughs said of the victims. "No one should have to experience what was related in today's article, and I am profoundly sorry that they had these experiences with a person in a position of trust."

Christie also had a role at Wellesley College, serving as its organist, which he has now discontinued as well.

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