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Teacher's assistant from Maspeth school charged with rape

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A teacher's assistant from P.S. 9 (Walter Reed School) was recently arrested and charged with engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male student. Clara Somodi, a 39-year-old Woodside resident, has been charged with second-degree rape, second-degree sexual act and in endangering the welfare of a child after her victim confided to a school employee that Somodi and he were having sex.

The criminal complaint states that the relationship began last December and continued until last Tuesday, when the student played hookie from school in order to meet up with Somoda. Department of Education spokesman David Pena referred to the allegations as "disturbing" in a statement issued recently.

Somoda, who had been working at the school for the past ten years, has been suspended without pay and is currently being held on $10,000 bond. She is due to return to court on April 14; meanwhile the victim is receiving counseling services. P.S. 9 is located at 58-74 57 St. in Maspeth, Queens and has 662 students enrolled in it from kindergarten through ninth grade.

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