Another Bronx teacher arrested, charged with raping student

Credit: Metro Archives
A music teacher has been charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student. Credit: Metro file photo

Another Bronx public school teacher has been arrested and charged with raping a student in his care, police reported.

Brian Kearins, 33, a music teacher at Herbert H. Lehman High School, was allegedly having sex with his 16-year-old student.

The alleged crime came to light when the girl’s older sister, snooping in her little sister’s Gmail account, found an email to their male cousin in which the younger sister said she had sex with one of her teachers, police said.

Cops said the older sister told their mother, and on Monday, their mother called the school. She did not give her or her daughter’s names, but reported that a teacher was having sex with a student. She called back again Tuesday, this time providing her name and her daughter’s name. The principal asked the mother to come to the school, and removed the girl from Kearins’ class.

The mother reportedly told police that she did not know how to go about reporting the issue, but went forward because she read about the teacher arrested last week for having sex with his 10-year-old student

About 1 p.m. Tuesday, a school safety agent notified the Bronx Special Victims Squad, cops said. Police arrived at the school and interviewed the girl, who reportedly said she and Kearins had sexual relations on four separate occasions in the music room. The first incident occurred in October 2012, the most recent in March or April of this year.

Police said she told them that in September 2012 she told Kearins that two of his students had crushes on him. She said she didn’t think anything would come of it, but he emailed her his cell phone number that same day and they began to correspond via text message.

Investigators then had the girl call Kearins from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

On the phone, Kearins allegedly asked the girl if her mother was present. The girl responded that she was not, but told him that her mother saw text messages that said she was having sex with a teacher.

Kearins allegedly then told the girl to tell her mother to say she has a boyfriend or girlfriend.

“Whatever you got to tell her,” Kearins allegedly said. “Clear your phone. This is why I was worried by your phone. Just fix it.”

Kearins then allegedly said instructed the girl to text him later and tell him what happened. He also allegedly told her to tell her mother she “likes girls.” 

Kearins allegedly told the girl this is really serious, and asked if she thought her mother contacted the school, or would contact the school. He instructed her a second time to get rid of old text messages and again told her the situation is really serious.

The Bronx Special Victims Squad arrested Kearins at his home at 10:35 p.m. on Tuesday, cops said. A video interrogation was conducted at 1:07 a.m. on Wednesday, and Kearins reportedly denied having sexual contact with his student. Police said his answers were vague, and he requested a lawyer about 40 minutes into the questioning.

Police reported that Kearins is being charged with a criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child. He has two prior arrests, cops said: one for drunk driving, the other for marijuana possession.

Department of Education spokeswoman Connie Pankratz said Kearins started teaching at Lehman High School nearly a decade ago, in September 2003. His salary is $69,720.

Because of the tenure included in public school teacher contracts, the Department of Education will have to undergo a process called a 3020a hearing in order to seek Kearins’ termination. Pankratz said the department will be doing so.

For the time being, he must remain employed by the Department of Education and paid by the city, but he has been reassigned away from the school and any students.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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