A New York high school teacher was arraigned Friday on what would have been his wedding day on charges that he had sex with a 16-year-old female student.
John Azabache, 31, was charged with third-degree rape. He pleaded not guilty, The Associated Press reports.
Azabache was released on $50,000 bond.
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The charge, according to Tony Castro, a defense lawyer, doesn’t allege that Azabache forced the girl. New York law says a girl that age isn’t able to consent to sex with an adult.
Azabache was a math teacher at Ossining High School. He has been placed on administrative leave, the Daily Mail said
, and is barred from going on school grounds, from seeing his ex-fiancee — who is listed as a prosecution witness — and from seeing the girl and her family.
The school superintendent sent a letter to parents saying the contact between Azabache and the girl happened off school grounds, the Mail said. The letter said Azabache had no prior record and has been with the school district since 2008. Students will have counseling available next week, the superintendent’s letter said.
A Journal-News article reported that Azabache’s ex-fiancee was Amanda DeLuccia
, and that wedding guests were told Thursday that the wedding was off. The article quoted the bride’s grandmother, 92, as saying, “It all just came out at the last minute. He always seemed like a nice guy. I don’t know what happened. You men are all alike. You stink. I hope they send him to jail forever.”
The Journal-News said the grandmother talked with her granddaughter, who assured her that she was strong and would survive.
The newspaper also reported on a 2004 case in the Ossining school district where charges alleged that a school secretary had an affair with a basketball player. The school paid $375,000 for “failing to supervise” the student.
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