A New York City high school teacher from Long Island was arrested Wednesday – for the second time in two days – on felony charges after a second 16-year-old student came forward to report he had sex with his teacher in the school.
Joy Morsi, 39, of Massapequa, was back in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday and found herself facing additional charges that included criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. The physical education teacher pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $25,000 bail. She was ordered to return to court later this month.
Prosecutors said the charges disclosed Wednesday allege Morsi engaged in a sexual act with a 16-year-old student while she was working at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood on May 31. Authorities said the incident happened on school grounds, but on a Saturday. It was unclear if Morsi was on-duty at the time.
The revelations come just a day after Morsi was arraigned on felony rape charges for allegedly having sex with a different 16-year-old at the school. The Queens DA’s office said Morsi had maintained a relationship with that boy for more than a year, sending him explicit text messages, pictures and videos. They allege she had sex with the teenage boy in the school’s basement and other locations in the building. Investigators were tipped off to the illicit activity after one of the victim’s friends told her parents.
“The defendant, who was arraigned yesterday on charges of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student, now stands accused of engaging in similar criminal acts with another 16-year-old male student. These are serious accusations in which a school teacher – who should serve as a role model to students – is instead accused of using her position to gain access to children for her own gratification,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education said Morsi has been reassigned from her teaching post pending the outcome of her criminal case. According to city school officials, Morsi has been teaching at the school since 1999 and has not been the subject of any previous investigations. She will continue to collect her $79,531-a-year salary as the investigation continues.
In a statement, school officials said they “immediately removed” Morsi from the classroom when they learned of the allegations. “We find these claims disturbing and reprehensible and she will remain reassigned – far from any student at the school – pending a criminal investigation. We will work closely with the school to ensure they are given any needed support.”