A worker at a Queens high school was arrested for inappropriately touching a student, the city’s Special Commissioner of Investigation said Wednesday.
Joseph Lombardo, a 23-year-old Community Assistant at Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences High School in Queens, faces a charge of one count of sex abuse in the third degree stemming from his inappropriate sexual conduct with a 17-year-old girl, according to Special Commissioner Anastasia Coleman.
Lombardo’s arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by Coleman’s office that found that while alone with the student, he allegedly took her hand and “trailed” it down his chest to his erect penis.
The student rejected his advances and pulled away, authorities said. Lombardo turned himself in a the Queens District Attorney’s office Wednesday morning. He was suspended without pay pending the outcome of his case.
Coleman said school workers who commit crimes such as Lombardo’s will be held accountable.
“There is no place in the New York City school system for the behavior demonstrated by Mr. Lombardo and for those who prey on our children,” Coleman said.
City Education Department spokesman Doug Cohen said Lombardo, who started working in city schools in 2017, had an otherwise clean disciplinary history.
“There’s absolutely no place for this alleged behavior in our schools, and Mr. Lombardo was immediately suspended without pay once we were made aware of the allegations in March,” Cohen said.