A Queens high school teacher – from Long Island – was arrested Tuesday on felony rape charges after authorities said she allegedly maintained an inappropriate sexual relationship with an underage student, Queens prosecutors said.
Joy Morsi, 39, of Massapequa, was arraigned on more than 40 criminal counts, including charges of rape, criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. Morsi, who worked as a gym teacher at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, was released after posting $25,000 bail. She is due back in court later this month.
Prosecutors charge Morsi had sex with the then-16-year-old male student in the basement and other locations in the school building in June and July 2013. She is also is alleged to have sent explicit text messages, pictures and videos to the student. Investigators were tipped off after one of the victim’s female friends told her parents, who in turn informed school officials. According to the New York Daily News, the relationship lasted for more than a year.
“This case is particularly disturbing because the defendant is a teacher and schools should be safe havens for children. Instead, this defendant is accused of sexually preying upon one of her students during rendezvous all over the school,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
A spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education said Morsi has been a physical education teacher at the high school since 1999. Officials say Morsi, who earns $79,531-a-year, has not been the subject of prior investigations. She has been reassigned as the criminal case continues, the spokeswoman said.
“The Department immediately removed Joy Morsi from the classroom upon learning of the allegations,” city school officials said in a statement. “We find these claims disturbing and reprehensible and she will remain reassigned - far from any student and the school - pending a criminal investigation. We will work closely with the school to ensure they are given any needed support."