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Bronx NY teacher pleads guilty to rape of student

Anthony Criscuolo
Anthony Criscuolo

On Friday, a New York City teacher, in the Bronx, has pleaded guilty to raping a 5th grade special needs students in his car in April 2013. Anthony Criscuolo, 41, had tricked his young victim’s family into thinking he was taking her to an academic awards ceremony when he raped her in the school parking lot. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson stated that Criscuolo had agreed to a plea bargain on Friday, rather than bring the case to trial so as to "not further traumatize this young victim".

The married, former special education teacher, Criscuolo, faces 14 years in prison followed by 18 years of post-release supervision. Sentencing is scheduled for July 7. According to Defense lawyer Steven Brill, Criscuolo has “accepted responsibility for his actions." Criscuolo could have faced 25 years in prison. In addition to the prison time, Criscuolo, who’d been making $73,000 a year, has to give up his teaching license and will have to register as a sex offender.

According to the girl’s mother, the rape was discovered by her when she found sexually explicit messages emails that the teacher had sent his student. The emails were quite frank and according to the court documents said, “I was too rough. Sorry. It’s normal,” he wrote to the fifth grader. “You may feel pain for a few days.” He continued by asking, ““How did it feel for you?” The teacher had tried to start a relationship with the young girl weeks prior by buying her gifts such as an I-Touch and also sent other messages to her.

The city's Department of Education later faulted the school's principal for ignoring students' reports that Criscuolo had been seen kissing the girl. A spokesman for the city Department of Education said Crisuolo officially resigned from his post Friday, and will no longer be employable with the city school district.