Former Victoria Junior College teacher denies sexual abuse allegations in the US

A nine-month investigation by Milton Academy revealed that Mr Rey Buono was a sexual predator, but he has denied the allegations.
A nine-month investigation by Milton Academy revealed that Mr Rey Buono was a sexual predator, but he has denied the allegations. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/MILTON ACADEMY

Mr Rey Buono, an American educator who taught theatre studies and drama in Victoria Junior College in Singapore, and in schools in Malaysia and Thailand, has denied allegations that he sexually abused students in the Milton Academy near Boston decades ago.

Malaysian newspaper Malay Mail carried a statement by his lawyer there, Datuk N Sivananthan, which states: "My client notes that the investigation and purported findings was by a private entity and notes that to date no criminal complaint has been filed against him.

"My client also notes that the alleged incidents apparently occurred more than 30 years ago and there were no criminal complaints filed then and to the best of his knowledge, there has not been any filed to date."

On Feb 21, some US media, including The Boston Globe newspaper, reported that a nine-month investigation by the academy, described as a "prestigious private school", revealed that Mr Buono was a sexual predator.

The school had engaged a New York security consulting firm, which found that Mr Buono and three other former employees had molested students in the school.

Investigations showed he abused at least 12 male students. He was fired in 1987 after admitting to molesting a student.

According to previous reports by The Straits Times, Mr Buono helped set up Victoria Junior College's theatre studies and drama programme in 1989 and left the school in 1996. He then joined the Singapore Repertory Theatre and became its director of training.

The Malay Mail reports that he taught in Malaysian institutions Universiti Putra Malaysia between 1997 and 2002, Sunway University College from 2003 to 2006, and Taylor's University from 2011 to 2012.

His lawyer's statement said that he intends to engage lawyers in Boston to address the allegations.

It added: "My client is now in his 70's and retired after a long and illustrious career in the performing arts and takes the view that he should not be vilified without any proper investigation and more importantly the fact remains that there has been no criminal complaint made against him during his tenure at Milton Academy and none in the last 30 years."