Kloman, 74, was sentenced to 43 years in prison Friday in a Fairfax County courtroom for molesting five girls, including Sullivan, at McLean’s elite Potomac School in the late 1960s and ’70s, when he was a teacher and administrator. Sullivan’s chance encounter in November 2011 and tip sparked the lengthy investigation and criminal proceeding that brought the decades-old abuse to light.
“As a mature woman, a lawyer and a mother, I was fed up,” Sullivan testified at the hearing. “I was more than fed up. One girl is too much. One generation is too much. . . . The girls at my son’s school were the exact same age I was when he assaulted me.”
Each of the five victims in the case gave harrowing accounts Friday of the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of a man they trusted implicitly. The attacks lasted seconds or minutes, but they said the devastating effects rippled out over a lifetime. Sullivan and other women who were victims said they wanted to go public and agreed to be identified.
Some testified that the exclusive school was alerted to Kloman’s assaults but did little to stop them. After the sentencing, the idea was echoed by nationally known lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing all five women and called on the school to investigate the complaints and “do the right thing.” She did not elaborate.
Sullivan was the first to testify before a courtroom packed with Potomac School alumni and Kloman’s family and friends. She said Kloman invited her and a friend over to swim at his house after a seventh-grade field trip.
Sullivan was ecstatic. She testified that Kloman was a “fun and irreverent” teacher. But once in the pool, Kloman pulled her onto his lap, pinned her arms behind her back and thrust against her, she testified. Sullivan said Kloman held her so tightly his arms were like “lobster claws.”
She didn’t comprehend what was happening.
“Mr. Kloman is my teacher,” she recalled thinking. “He is really cool. . . . This has got to be okay.”
Laura Gill testified that Kloman pinned her down and assaulted her in the basement of his home while his family was upstairs. She was 14 at the time, and Kloman was an administrator at the Potomac School. He had invited her to play in a father-daughter tennis tournament.
Gill testified that she told her parents and a teacher about the abuse and that they alerted the administration. School officials sent Kloman for counseling, she said, and she was horrified that she had to continue to walk by his office.
“My sense of self-esteem had been crushed,” Gill said. “No one thought what he did was bad enough to help me.”