After SFGN Investigation Symphony and Stonewall Scrub Websites of Accused Abuser

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After SFGN published an interview with six men accusing local philanthropist and documentarian Bruce Presley of forcing them to exercise naked while he watched, two local non-profits scrubbed their websites of him.

At one time Presley served on the board of The Stonewall National Museum and Archives, but his term expired in 2016. He also recorded the Bruce Presley Oral History project for the museum.

“The project was temporarily removed from the site in respect to the victims,” said Executive Director of Stonewall, Christopher Rudisill. “They are still available to researchers and the public as part of our Archives and larger Oral Histories collection.”

Up until the SFGN article Presley was still on the board of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra.

According to The Trentonian, a New Jersey publication, the organization “has since cut ties with Presley, citing repeated absences from meetings due to an illness. A representative from the orchestra wouldn’t say whether his removal was tied to the sexual misconduct allegations.”

The six alleged victims, three of whom spoke on the record with SFGN, attended The Lawrenceville School in 1978, at the time an all-male college preparatory school.

Each of them lived on campus where Presley was their housemaster. They all told similar stories.

It would begin with them getting into trouble, at which time Presley would give them a choice: take the school’s punishment, such as losing their weekend privileges, or take Presley’s in-house punishment, like naked exercises while he watched. Presley would sometimes tell the students that if they didn’t take his punishment, he’d have to tell the school, or their parents, and sometimes hint at a possible suspension. 

All of the alleged victims were 17 or 18 at the time. None accused Presley of touching them or any inappropriate physical contact.

Presley has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Days after the initial SFGN was published Lawrenceville released a second statement.

“Mr. Presley’s conduct towards our former students is abhorrent, unacceptable, and contrary to all the values of Lawrenceville. We offer our heartfelt sympathy and apologies to those affected by his behavior,” the statement reads. “we have retained independent investigators who are experienced in working with victims in matters like these, to learn the extent of Mr. Presley’s misconduct and examine the School administration’s response to his behavior.”

To read the story visit SFGN.com/Presley.


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