NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A middle school teacher has been accused of sexually assaulting a sixth grader after supplying him with drugs and alcohol.
Claudia Tillery, 42, was in jail Wednesday instead of at the Stephen Decatur School in Bedford Stuyvesant, where parents were shocked to learn she allegedly started preying on the boy when he was 12, supplying the drugs and sex over a period of two years.
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“It makes me … It makes me wanna cry,” Bed-Stuy resident Denise Allen said.
“Very concerned because you worry about your children and you want to be able to say when they’re not with you and there in school with someone you entrust that they can be safe,” Taneshia Boone added.
There was no answer at the Crown Heights apartment building where Tillery lives with her daughter. She was arrested there Tuesday evening.
Investigators are not saying who turned her in. Sources told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin the teenaged victim came forward and is cooperating with prosecutors.
“She’s a school teacher. She is supposed to be teaching the students the good thing,” Crown Heights neighbor Alam Nazmul said.
Tillery started working at Decauter in September of 1996 teaching sixth graders. Parents and students describe her teaching style as serious and strict.
“It’s real disappointing,” Bed-Stuy resident Corey Blaylock said.
Blaylock said he heard about Tillery’s arrest when picked up his godson, Jahh’son Perry, a seventh grader who was in Tillery’s history class last year.
“She would call our houses for no reason and scream at us a lot,” Perry said.
The principal of the school would not comment, referring Carlin to the Department of Education. A spokesperson confirmed Tillery is suspended and will not be returning to the school any time soon.
Tillery has hired a private defense attorney and was in court Wednesday night for arraignment on rape, unlawful dealing of drugs and alcohol to a child and sexual misconduct.
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