Lawmakers, family of raped Bronx student speak out

June 25, 2013 3:05:34 AM PDT
The family of a 10-year-old girl allegedly raped by her teacher spoke out Monday after a planned court appearance was waived by the prosecutor.

Forty-year-old Anthony Criscuolo, a fifth-grade special education teacher at PS 386, has been behind bars since his arraignment last week because he was unable to post his $500,000 bail.

Criscuolo was indicted Monday by a Bronx grand jury.

Police say Criscuolo attacked the girl in his car after telling her parents that he was taking her out of class to receive an academic award.

"I don't sleep, I cannot eat, because that beast took my life," the victim's grandmother said through a translator. "I want them to put a heavy hand over these teachers, to put more vigilance, more cameras in the schools."

The family called the fact that Criscuolo's appearance was waived an act of cowardice.

Police say the mother of the victim discovered e-mails between the teacher and her daughter. According to police, the girl told detectives that Criscuolo had kissed her and touched her in school, then drove her to PS 196 and had sex with her in his car in the parking lot.

State Senator Ruben Diaz and members of the Hispanic clergy offered their support to the family and said there are still many questions to be answered.

"As an elected official, we're here to make sure that justice is done and to try to put stronger legislation to stop these things," he said.

According to the criminal complaint, Criscuolo also emailed the girl after the rape and apologized for being so rough.

"As a parent, I'm broken," State Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo said. "As a community leader, I feel broken. This monster, this individual, doesn't deserve to be called by his name."

The victim's cousin tells Eyewitness News that she is taking several medications, is withdrawn and is not speaking very much.

Criscuolo will be arraigned next month. He faces 25 years to life if convicted of the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault.