Wednesday 26th September, 2007


Trini teacher accused of harassing rape victims

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T&T-born New York schoolteacher RICHARD ALI, right, stands next to his lawyer Thomas McCullough in a Queens district court in New York on Monday.
Photo: Courtesy the New York Daily News

The accusedn Richard Ali

  • A biology teacher at an all-girls Catholic prep school in New York
  • Accused of sexually molesting five students
  • Supreme Court Justice has increased his bail from US$540,000 to US$750,000

A TRINIDADIAN teacher in New York who is accused of sexually molesting five students has been harassing his victims and enlisting other students to help him, US prosecutors have claimed.

Richard Ali, a biology teacher at an all-girls Catholic prep school, has been calling the students he is charged with molesting and “begging the girls not to say anything because it would get him in trouble,” Queens Assistant District Attorney Donna Marie Golia said on Monday.

The 27-year-old defendant was also trying to reach out to other girls at Manhattan’s Cathedral High School in an attempt to get them “to do his bidding,” Golia said.

Ali’s attorney, Thomas McCullough, dismissed the new claims by the assistant district attorney.

His client does not face new charges.

Supreme Court Justice James Griffin, however, increased Ali’s bail from US$540,000 to US$750,000, which he was expected to post.

Ali is charged with one count of second-degree rape, six counts of third-degree rape, one count of second-degree criminal sexual act, five counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, seven counts of third-degree sexual abuse and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said an investigation began in March when a student told a school guidance counselor of the alleged sexual abuse.

The guidance counselor, in turn, reported the incident to the school principal, who then reported it to the police.

In court on Monday, prosecutors charged that Ali tried to thwart the police investigation by harassing his victims and enlisting other students to help him.

If convicted, Ali could spend up to seven years in prison.