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Assistant School Principal Allegedly Raped Student in Office

The assistant principal has been suspended without pay since a June 2012 report alleged he sexually abused three 15-year-old students

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An assistant principal from the Progress High School for Professional Careers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been accused of forcibly raping a 17-year-old graduate in his school office. Andrew Siff reports.

    A Brooklyn assistant principal allegedly raped a 17-year-old student he had hired to work for him in his school office and sent a 16-year-old student to a colleague's office, where she was forced to perform oral sex, according to an investigation by the Special Commissioner of Investigation's office.

    Commissioner Richard Condon alleges the Department of Education assistant principal at Progress High School for Professional Careers, William Abreu, hired the student to work for him and offered to help her get an attorney and get her the required paperwork to stay in the country because she wasn't in the country legally.

    The girl said she couldn't afford an attorney, and Abreu allegedly said she could be his girlfriend and he would help her. The girl declined, and he allegedly ordered her to the couch and raped her, then threatened to call immigration officers if she didn't show up to work the next day. 

    Over the next several months, Abreu allegedly continued to abuse the student and then sent her to the office of a colleague who runs an after-school program at Progress High and is not employed by the city's education department.

    The colleague allegedly groped the student, and told her, "You have to do the same thing with me that you did with [the assistant principal]." The student kept the job for a few weeks.

    In 2010, a year and a half after that student graduated, Abreu hired another student, a 16-year-old girl, to work in his office after hours. 

    Several months into the job, he allegedly told her to "dress sexy," and offered to give her money to enhance her wardrobe. 

    Then he allegedly told the girl she had to have sex with him if she wanted to keep working in the office, and told her he would take her to out-of-town political functions, where she would be paid for having sex with other people. 

    The commissioner's report says Abreu directed the student to go to the office of the colleague allegedly involved in the prior abuse, as he did the other student several years before. 

    The student told investigators the colleague groped her over her clothes, then unzipped his pants, pulled her hair and forced her to perform oral sex on him.  

    There was no answer at Abreu's home in Jamaica, Queens Wednesday. A neighbor said he was "very shocked" by the allegations. 
    Parents and students at Progress High expressed shock and sadness that a trusted administrator could be accused of a crime so serious.
    "When you send the kids to school, that's the place they have to be safe," said Mindy Miranda of Bushwick. "It's like home, like a second home."

    Parent Mercedes Rodriguez said, "We have children of our own, and we don't want them to be in an environment like that." 

    Abreu has been suspended without pay since a June 2012 report by the commission that alleged he made inappropriate sexual remarks to three 15-year-old students. Condon recommended to Chancellor Dennis Walcott that the assistant principal be terminated, and that the colleague, since he is not a city employee, be ineligible for future employment with the education department or its affiliates. 

    Condon also said his office's report would be referred to the Brooklyn District Attorney. 

    "We've sent our entire file to the Brooklyn district attorney's office, and we've been in discussions, and they'll decide whether to charge him or not," said Condon.