NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York City public school teacher was arraigned Tuesday on rape and other charges for allegedly having a months-long sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
Daniel Reilly, an English teacher at I.S. 237 in Flushing, was in court in Queens, where bail was set at $30,000.
The 36-year-old is charged with four counts of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual act, one count of endangering the welfare of a child and six counts of third-degree sexual abuse, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The alleged relationship began in August of last year when Reilly sent the girl, who was his former elementary school student, a text message indicating he wanted to have sex with her, Brown said. According to the criminal complaint, between August of 2012 and April of this year the sexual encounters took place at least eight times in the Forest Hills apartment on Yellowstone Boulevard that Reilly shares with his wife and 11-month-old child.
The victim’s statements include accusations that starting in October, Reilly and the teen were “naked in bed together” inside his apartment. In November their encounters allegedly progressed to involve “sex” and in February started to include “oral sex,” CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian reported.
Brown said the alleged relationship was uncovered when the victim’s sister saw sexually explicit text messages on her phone. On Monday, the victim’s family went to the school, where school officials called police.
“This case is particularly disturbing. Schools should be safe havens for children. Instead, this defendant is accused of sexually preying upon one of his former students and rendezvousing with her at his residence,” Brown said.
Brown said the victim was not a student at I.S. 237, but parents at the school said they are outraged by the allegations.
“We love all the teachers, the principal – it’s shocking,” one parent said. “I couldn’t believe this.”
“He wasn’t like that. He was a really good teacher, really nice,” a student added.
City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Reilly has no previous record and has been reassigned.
“As I’ve said before, this is totally unacceptable. I’ve said it repeatedly – keep your hands off our students,” Walcott said. “This is a case that should not have happened. This is a case that we totally … totally will prosecute to the fullest level.”
Reilly is a former Marine, who was honorably discharged, his attorney, Eric Franz, said, adding the charges “are unfortunate and regrettable.”
“We’re going to investigate this case, look into it,” he said.
Reilly is due back in court on May 6. He was ordered by the judge to stay away from the alleged victim.
If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
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