New York City Public School Teacher Charged With Raping Teenager In 2017, Police Say

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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A New York City public school teacher was arrested on charges that he raped a teenager in 2017, numerous sources reported Thursday.

26-year-old Sergio Garcia was accused of raping a girl who was 14 years old at the time of the offense, according to NBC 4

Garcia worked as a substitute teacher at J.H.S. 227, a middle school in Brooklyn. He was hired for the role in September 2020, when schools reopened following pandemic-related closures, according to AM NY.

Reports are mixed regarding the victim’s relationship with Garcia. NBC 4 reported that the New York Police Department (NYPD) said the victim was Garcia’s stepdaughter. However, AM NY reported that the victim was his underage girlfriend.

Police arrested Garcia on Wednesday after an investigation by the NYPD’s Special Victims Division, according to AM NY. The victim reportedly came forward with the allegations and filed a complaint on March 22.

The victim told investigators that Garcia and she were in an illegal sexual relationship between August and December 2017, AM NY reported. Garcia allegedly gave her a gummy candy at the time. The victim began to feel lightheaded after eating it, according to AM NY.

Authorities reportedly told AM NY that Garcia allegedly drugged the girl before raping her at his former residence in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“These are extremely disturbing allegations of conduct from several years prior to this substitute’s employment, and we took immediate action as soon as they were reported,” Education Department spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon said, according to the New York Daily News.

“He is not eligible to work in our schools pending the outcome of the criminal investigation,” O’Hanlon added.

Garcia was charged with two counts of rape, sexual misconduct, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and sexual abuse, according to the New York Daily News.

Numerous other public school teachers were charged with sex crimes in the days prior to Garcia’s arrest. A former West Virginia middle school teacher was charged with distributing child pornography after officials say they found several thousand sexually explicit images of minors on his Facebook account. (RELATED: Police Charge Former Middle School Teacher After Discovering Thousands Of Child Pornography Videos And Images On His Social Media)

In Florida, an elementary school teacher was arrested for attempting to solicit a two-year-old child for sex and allegedly offered $200 to molest the child.