N.Y.C. Charter School Dean, 34, Allegedly Raped 15-Year-Old Boy
A dean at a charter school in New York City was arrested on Tuesday and charged with rape after being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy.
The New York Police Department confirms to PEOPLE that Grace Trinidad, 34, was arrested early Tuesday morning. She was charged with rape, engaging in a criminal sexual act and unlawful dealing with a child. The unnamed alleged victim was identified by the NYPD as a 15-year-old male.
According to the New York Daily News, Trinidad — a single mother with two daughters, ages 13 and 7 — was a dean of discipline at New Visions Advanced Math & Science High School in the Bronx.
The outlet, citing police, reports that she befriended the teen, who is a student at the school, and allegedly invited him to her home in the Bronx multiple times, where she is accused of sexually abusing him.
According to the newspaper, the 15-year-old first spoke up about the alleged sexual encounters on Monday, when he and a classmate told the school’s principal. The alleged encounters were then reported to authorities on Monday, one day before Trinidad’s arrest, WNBC, reports, citing police.
Trinidad allegedly told the teenager to destroy all the evidence of their relationship.
The Daily News reports that Trinidad’s defense lawyer said her record as an educator was “unblemished” and said that she has “the support of both her family and her community.” Her bail was reportedly set at $10,000.
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New Visions did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but officials with the school told the Daily News that they launched an internal investigation on Tuesday and have fired Trinidad.
“We are horrified by recent allegations of completely inappropriate and unlawful interactions between a staff member and one of our students,” New Visions spokesperson Jefferson Pestronk told the outlet. “The safety of students in our schools is our top priority. We have stringent internal policies in place to protect the safety of our students.”