A one-time teacher at an elite Massachusetts boarding school has been returned to the U.S. from Thailand faced a judge Wednesday on child rape charges involving a former student.
Seventy-two-year-old Reynold Buono was ordered to be held without bail after pleading not guilty during his arraignment on three counts of rape of a child and three counts of rape of a child with force in Norfolk Superior Court. He was named in sealed indictments last year.
The Norfolk District Attorney's office said Buono left Milton Academy in 1987 and had been living in southeast Asia for a number of years.
Milton Academy said in February 2017 that independent investigators had determined Buono, who headed the school's theater program for more than a decade, molested at least a dozen male students. An attorney for Buono rejected the findings of the investigation at the time.
Last February, the Milton Academy revealed the allegations against Buono involving at least 12 male students, adding that former headmaster Jerome Pieh "had some knowledge" of the misconduct, but that he took no action until 1987, when Buono admitted to molestation and was fired.
In October, the school announced that six more students had come forward with allegations of abuse or misconduct.
One of the victims, Jamie Forbes, told NBC10 Boston Buono assaulted him at the age of 14 during a school bike trip through Italy. After a night of drinking, Forbes bunked with the teacher.
"All of a sudden, his hand started roaming around on my body," Forbes said. "It was ... it was sort of ... it was a terrifying experience because I certainly felt like, 'What did I do to make him think I'd be interested?'"
Forbes said the abuse continued for six more months after his mother, not knowing about the incident, asked the school if Buono could be his adviser.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey praised the cooperation between local and state police as well as federal authorities.
"We owe our partners in federal law enforcement — and in Thailand —substantial thanks for their diligence and perseverance," Morrissey said.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Beatty will be prosecuting the case. He is being represented by Norman Zalkind.
Buono is due back in court on July 18.