NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bail for a Brooklyn high school teacher accused of repeatedly having sex with a 16-year-old student was set at $10,000 during a court appearance Friday.
English teacher Erin Sayar, 36, was arrested Thursday for rape and other charges for engaging in sexual conduct with the 11th grade student at Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, investigators said.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
When she came into court Friday, Sayar spotted her husband and smiled. Then she heard the charges, including eight counts of rape, 16 counts of child abuse and other charges, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.
In a detailed account of the alleged sexual encounters, the special commissioner of investigation for New York City schools, Richard Condon, said Sayar, who also has a child, picked up the teen at his home around midnight one night late last year and then “took him to Marine Park where they engaged in sexual intercourse in her SUV.”
Condon said the student confessed to having relationship with Sayar.
“He admitted that he was having a relationship with the teacher and included that they have had sexual relations eight to 12 times,” he said. “She declined to speak to us so we referred the case to the chancellor and the district attorney’s office.”
The student’s parents, who were seen in court with their lawyer, charge that sex also took place in her office where she tutored the boy, and that she allegedly provided him marijuana.
Condon said it was the teen’s girlfriend who blew the lid off the scandal, after getting into the student’s Facebook account, and reading messages between the teacher and student, some 3,800 text messages, CBS 2’s Slattery reported.
In court, Sayar’s attorney said the girlfriend was emotionally disturbed, and that the male student has been suspended for brazenly selling marijuana on school grounds, Slattery reported.
James Madison High was dubbed “horndog high” three years ago when two female teachers were fired after being caught in a classroom while naked.
The parents of the male student in this case have filed a $10 million notice of claim against the Department of Education, and neighbors of Sayar in Park Slope said they are disturbed by the charges.
“She’s having sex with a minor, knowing she has a good man at home and a child; I don’t know,” Zoe Carrero said.
Sayar has been removed from the classroom as officials continue to investigate the allegations. The case has now been referred to the schools chancellor and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Sayar faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
Close to 20 Department of Education employees have been arrested already this year.
Wilbert Cortez, a Queens computer teacher who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly sexually abusing two male students at P.S. 174, was arrested again Wednesday night on child endangerment and sex abuse charges for allegedly molesting three young boys.
Cortez was reassigned out of the classroom after his first arrest. He was released Thursday on $60,000 bail.
The seemingly never-ending string of arrests are now prompting state lawmakers to act. They’re pushing new legislation that would give school districts the final say on teacher discipline instead of arbitrators.
“Every child should be protected from people who are predators,” said State Sen. Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie).
In New York City, teacher discipline is currently decided by an outside hearing officer, a system Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said doesn’t always work.
“In one case, an investigator found that a teacher had inappropriately touched a number of female students. This was the teacher’s second hearing for such behavior, but the hearing officer only imposed suspension without pay and a strong warning,” Bloomberg said. “How can we, as adults, let that teacher go back into the classroom?”
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