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.