NEW YORK – A special education teacher in the Bronx faces first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault charges after he allegedly raped his 10-year-old student.
Anthony Criscuolo, 40, taught his alleged victim at P.S. 386. He was arrested Wednesday on an initial charge of second-degree rape after the student’s mother discovered inappropriate emails between Criscuolo and her young daughter. The charge was later upgraded to the more serious offenses, Metro.us reports.
“The 10-year-old victim told detectives the teacher had touched and kissed her, and at one point wrote her a letter on official school letterhead saying she was going to receive an award,” according to the news site. “The teacher allegedly gave this letter to the girl’s mother and said he would take the girl to the award ceremony on Monday.”
Instead, police allege Criscuolo brought the girl to P.S. 196 and raped her in his sedan. Criscuolo worked at several Bronx schools as a special education teacher over his decade-long career and currently makes $72,990, Metro.us reports.
Because of union protections, the school district can’t immediately terminate Criscuolo, so he’ll continue to collect a paycheck for weeks, months, or years until his case navigates the arduous termination process.
“He has been reassigned away from any students,” NYC Department of Education spokeswoman Connie Pankratz said. “We plan to seek his termination.”
If the accusations are true, Criscuolo is exactly the type of teacher city officials should able to swiftly remove from both the classroom and the public payroll. The ridiculous union rules that establish employee “rights” to a long and expensive hearing process are not only unnecessary, they’re destructive.
We wonder how many children in New York must be raped or abused by their teachers before the United Federation of Teachers union will agree to help address this problem. City education officials have pressured the union for years to give them more leeway in terminating teachers for this kind of conduct, but the union has steadfastly refused.
Pedophile teachers don’t deserve that kind of loyalty, even from their union.
By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org