Principal removed, 2 teens arrested in Brooklyn high school sex assault case
Two students were arrested and a principal was removed from her job in a sex assault case roiling a Brooklyn high school.
The 14-year-old victim at well-regarded It Takes a Village Academy told cops a group of bullies had been targeting him since the beginning of the school year.
“Freshman Friday! Freshman Friday!” the group shouted at the victim in a boys’ locker room on Nov. 3, according to a criminal complaint.
Suspect Santosh Bonito, 17, and several other teens then grabbed the victim’s genitals through his clothes, the complaint says.
The suspects also tried to stick their fingers into the boys’ buttocks, said cops.
The victim reported the incident to school administrators, and Bonito and the other suspects were suspended.
But school officials didn’t report the incident to police. After following up with school officials, the victim’s mother called cops herself on Nov. 6.
Bonito was arrested April 12 on misdemeanor forcible touching charges. If convicted, he could spend up to a year on Rikers Island.
A second suspect, 15 years old, was arrested Monday. Police did not reveal the juvenile’s name.
Soon after the incident, the school’s principal, Marina Vinitskaya, was removed from her job for failing to report it to law enforcement.
Vinitskaya was assigned to a Department of Education “rubber room” while the officials investigate her handling of the incident.
“There is absolutely no place for this type of behavior in NYC schools and the administration must be held accountable,” said Scott Rynecki, a laywer for the victim’s family.
“The Department of Education must increase security and training to prevent these horrific incidents from occurring,” Rynecki said. “Sexual assaults have more than doubled since 2014 and this cannot be tolerated.”
Meanwhile an acting principal has been installed at the school.
An Education spokesman said the city has provided It Takes a Village with additional staffers to enhance safety.
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