A teacher’s aide at P.S. 87, a highly regarded Manhattan public elementary
school, was arrested after he allegedly sexually abused a student. The
accused, Gregory Atkins, 56, was working at the Upper West Side public
school since November 2008 and has been a part of the school system since
2001. According to law enforcement, Atkins has been accused of having
a young male student strip down in the school’s bathroom and on
another occasion offering money to fondle the boy.
This is not the first time that the aide has been accused of behaving inappropriately
towards a student. In 2006, while he was working at Middle School 322
located in Upper Manhattan, the mother of one of his students told investigators
that Atkins gave her son inappropriate gifts including a jock strap and
made unsettling comments offering to “baby-sit” the boy, reported
the New York Times. The allegations prompted the Office of the Special
Commissioner of Investigation for schools to recommend that Atkins be
disciplined, but disciplinary charges were never filed.
Mr. Atkins, according to police, is being charged with sexual abuse, attempted
criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child. A member of Community
Education Council 3 was quoted by the New York Times: “The gentleman
was an aide in the class and all seemed copacetic; it was fine. The kids
liked him. We liked him. But if the allegations are true, it is pretty
scary and sad.” After he was arrested, Mr. Atkins was suspended
without pay by the Education Department.
If you have been accused of a crime, you should immediately seek advice from a
criminal defense lawyer that is experienced in handling
sex crimes cases. For a free consultation with such an attorney, complete the form to the
left or call 212-566-1000. Based in New York City, Sullivan & Brill,
LLP represents clients throughout the United States, as well as in Manhattan,
Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County,
Westchester County and other upstate New York counties.