A teacher at KIPP NYC who allegedly groomed and sexually abused a female student for years was recently arrested and the school’s principal was fired for not proprely handling the matter.
39 year old Cesar Sanchez, a science teacher at KIPP Washington Heights Middle School, started to make lewd and sexually suggestive comments to the victim when she was in fourth grade and became more and more aggressive in his behavior. By the time the girl was in seventh grade, he was groping her. The abuse stopped when the class was remote during the covid19 lockdown and started again when students started to attend school in person again. According to the complaint, Sanchez touched the student’s breast and pushed his crotch against her. The abuse was discovered after another female student complained to her parents that Sanchez blurred student-teacher boundaries by asking her to be friends on Instagram which made her uncomfortable. The parents reached out to school officials and during a conversation with them the girl told them that she had heard Sanchez had been behaving inappropriately with another girl.
Sanchez was considered an excellent teacher and was the recipient of the 2018 New York Family “Blackboard Award”. He is married to another KIPP school principal and has two children. He was arrested and arraigned on December 23rd and charged with sexual conduct against a child and endangering child welfare.
Parents who sent their kids to the school were horrified by the news and especially that it took so long to catch the predator.
One parent mentioned to the NY Daily News that both Sanchez and Swersky, the fired school principal, were suspended in 2019 after a school trip. A school spokeswoman confirmed the suspension and said the suspension was related to an incident in which Sanchez exhibited “poor professional judgment on a school trip” and Swersky failed to “handle it according to KIPP’s procedures.” She added that it was not related to any sexual misconduct.
Sanchez is due back to court in a few months.
Read more in the NY Daily News