Saturday, October 29, 2005

Female teacher charged with statutory rape

A teacher at a Manhattan Montessori school has been charged with the statutory rape and sodomy of a male student, starting when the boy was 13 and continuing for several years, prosecutors said Friday.
Lina Sinha, 38, surrendered to police Thursday and was charged with second- and third-degree sodomy and third-degree rape. Each charge relates to an adult having sexual contact with a minor.

Sinha was arraigned Friday in Manhattan Criminal Court. Judge ShawnDya L. Simpson released her without bail on the condition that she give up her passport. A prosecutor said Sinha has family ties in India and could possibly flee.

Prosecutors said Sinha, a teacher at the Montessori school on East 55th Street, began a sexual relationship with the boy in June 1996, when he was 13 and she was 29. Their encounters continued until the boy was at least 17, according to a felony complaint.

The teacher and her underage student had sex in a school van, inside the school, and in a school-owned apartment, prosecutors said.

The affair continued after the youth transferred to another school, prosecutors said. They said Sinha could not be charged with improper sexual contact with the youth after he turned 17 because that is the age of consent in New York State.

The student, now 22, recently reported the relationship to authorities.

Sinha's lawyer did not return calls for comment.

The case is due back in court in January.


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