McPhee v Kelly: New case filing against Colorado Academy Teacher under Child Sex Abuse Accountability Act

Case No. 2022cv30000


201 Columbine St., Ste. 150 #6888

Denver, CO 80206

Ph. 303-840-2222 (M-F, 9a-6p). 720-507-8773 (after hours)

Denver trial lawyer James Avery has filed the first civil cause of action for sexual misconduct against a minor under the newly enacted Colorado law (SB021-088, CRS 13-20-1201) governing Sexual Misconduct Against Minors in Boulder County District Court (Case No. 22cv 30000, Div. 2) on behalf of Kate McPhee (a Vermont artist) against John Kelly (a prominent Aspen, CO photographer and former Colorado Academy teacher), Albert Brown (member of the iconic Brown family that helped establish Aspen Skiing Company), Darcey Brown (former teacher at Colorado Academy now residing in Moab, UT and member of the iconic Brown family), Bruce Cranmer (a Boulder resident and former C.U. Nordic Ski Coach), Alan Cranmer, Jeanie Cranmer Clark and Mark Clark.
The lawsuit alleges that claimant Kate McPhee, age 15, was raped on the campus of Denver prep school Colorado Academy (CA) by one of its teachers, John Kelly (a history teacher at CA) then serially raped over the course of 3 weeks in the summer of 1977 on a Grand Canyon River trip supervised by the other adults. McPhee alleges a pattern of grooming and sexual misconduct by persons in a position of trust. She claims that alcohol and illicit drugs were provided to her and another teenage girl by the adults on the river trip, then she was serially raped by Kelly with the knowledge and consent of the other adult chaperones. The matter was never reported to police by the adults and only recently investigated by Colorado Academy after McPhee answered an open letter by CA seeking other victims who were abused by another of its teachers.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.  Damages under the new law, C.R.S. 13-20-1201, are capped at Five Hundred Thousand or One Million Dollars depending on the facts of the case.   

If you have any information concerning sex abuse of minors at Colorado Academy, please contact James Avery at ph. 303-840-2222 for via the contact form below.

Katie McPhee, sex abuse victim


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Denver Trial Lawyer James Avery

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