Thursday, July 3, 2003

D.A. BROWN: ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL CHARGED WITH RAPING CHILD IN HIS HOME; FACES UP TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that a Brooklyn public elementary school principal has been charged with raping a female child in his Jamaica, Queens residence over a 26-month span between April 2001 and June 2003.

District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant is alleged to have engaged in sexual relations with a female child less than 13 years of age and to have knowingly acted in a manner likely to be injurious to her emotional, physical and moral welfare. The charges are serious and disturbing and warrant vigorous prosecution.”

District Attorney Brown identified the defendant as Leroy Johnson, 42, of 159-16 Meyer Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, the Principal of Public School 25 in Brooklyn. He has been charged with Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, Rape in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

According to the charges, the defendant, between April 1, 2001 and June 18, 2003, at his residence, engaged in a course of sexual conduct involving the child which included almost weekly sexual intercourse from the time she was 11 years old until last month. The victim became 14 years of age in April 2003.

The District Attorney said that an investigation by detectives of the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Squad in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau was initiated in response to a recent report of the allegations made to the New York State Child Abuse Hotline.

The defendant was arrested yesterday at the Queens Special Victims Squad in Forest Hills and arraigned earlier today in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Suzanne Melendez who set bail of $100,000 and a return date on July 21, 2003.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Eric C. Rosenbaum of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Marjory D. Fisher, Chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum and Lucinda C. Suarez, Deputy Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Gregory L. Lasak.

It should be noted that criminal charges are merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.