A New York City schools administrator has been arrested after being accused of endangering and inappropriately touching a 14-year-old boy.
John DiFiore, 53, was officially charged earlier this week with three counts each of acting in a manner which could cause harm to a child under 17, as well as sexual contact with an individual.
He has since been released on $5,000 bond with his next court date scheduled for July 30. According to his lawyer, Michael F. Rubin, DiFiore intends to fight the charges. "He has too much invested," he said, adding, "It never happened."
DiFiore did admit to investigators that the victim, who is a student at Clinton Junior High School, claimed to be 18 and came to his house in order to obtain marijuana. He has not admitted to any sort of sexual contact as of yet, although he did say he pulled the boy's body against his, reports Pei-Sze Cheng for NBC 4.
"No, I never kissed him. He pulled his body against mine," prosecutors said he told a detective.
According to prosecutors, DiFiore had sexual contact with the boy on three occasions. The boy reported to police that DiFiore had kissed him and exposed himself, and that he had touched DiFiore's genitals over his clothing, writes Ashley Southall for The New York Times. DiFiore allegedly also later sexually abused the boy. He added that there was a witness to at least one of the incidents.
The Department of Education said in a statement: "While this alleged behavior is not school-related, it is deeply disturbing and reprehensible. Mr. DiFiore will not be in contact with any students."
The administrator has been removed from his position and will be placed in one where "he will have absolutely no contact with students pending the resolution of this case," the DOE said.
DiFiore started work with the DOE in 1987 as a teacher at Junior High School 78 in Brooklyn. He then became principal of the school, serving from 1993 to 2003, when he began his career at the central offices, which includes the last four years as assistant to the superintendent at the Office of Safety and Youth Development. His position required him to support administrative work and curriculum development within the office, reports Reuven Blau for The Daily News.