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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bronx special-education teacher accused of raping 10-year-old student

A Bronx elementary schoolteacher told a 10-year-old girl he was taking her to an awards ceremony, where she was to be honored, then raped her in his car, the police said on Wednesday.

The teacher, Anthony Criscuolo, 40, who taught fifth grade to special education students at Public School 386, was charged with first-degree rape and predatory assault of a child, the police said.

He had no prior criminal history, according to police records.

Police officials said the investigation of Mr. Criscuolo began on Tuesday after the girl’s mother contacted them.

The police said that Mr. Criscuolo had written a letter informing the girl that she was to receive an award and offered to take her to the awards ceremony when, in fact, there was no award or ceremony.

Instead, the police said, Mr. Criscuolo raped the girl in his car on Monday.

Efforts to reach Mr. Criscuolo on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Connie Pankratz, a spokeswoman for the Education Department, said that there had been no previous department investigations of Mr. Criscuolo.

She said that he had been reassigned away from the school and students, and that the department planned to seek his firing and to remove him from the payroll during the investigation.

Mr. Criscuolo, a Bronx resident, had taught at P.S. 386 since September 2011 and his annual salary was $72,990, according to Department of Education employment records. P.S. 386, also known as the School for Environmental Citizenship, has 490 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.

Mr. Criscuolo previously worked at P.S. 498 in the Bronx for a year.

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