A teacher at P.S. 386 in the Bronx was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with raping his 10-year-old student, police reported.
Police identified the teacher as Bronx resident Anthony Criscuolo.
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Criscuolo was initially charged with rape in the second degree. Such a charge comes when the alleged attacker is 18 or older and the victim is 15 or younger.
Criscuolo is 40; his student is 10.
The charges against him were later upgraded to rape in the first degree and predatory sexual assault against a child.
Criscuolo is a tenured teacher in the New York City public school system, so he is legally allowed to remain employed by the Department of Education and receive a full paycheck from the city, though not in his current position and likely not at his current school, a DOE spokesperson confirmed.
However, the DOE is seeking to terminate his employment, under a process called a 3020-a hearing.
In the meantime, DOE spokesperson Connie Pankratz said, Criscuolo has been reassigned to administrative duty away from the school and any students.
The Bronx Special Victims Squad launched an investigation into Criscuolo Tuesday morning when the victim's mother reportedly contacted police after she found e-mails sent between her daughter and Criscuolo.
Police reported that the "sexual nature" of the e-mails gave probable cause to arrest Criscuolo Wednesday morning.
Cops say the 10-year-old victim told detectives the teacher had touched and kissed her, and at one point wrote a letter on official school letterhead saying she was going to receive an award.
Criscuolo allegedly told his student's mother he was taking the girl to an award ceremony, but instead took her to a school parking lot and raped her in his car.
Criscuolo has been working in city schools for over a decade, DOE records show.
He was first hired as a Special Education substitute teacher in February 2002 at P.S. 178 in the Bronx. That contract was renewed for the following year, and then in September 2003, he was officially appointed a full-time Special Education teacher at that school.
In September 2010, he transfered to P.S. 498, also in the Bronx. A year later, he transferred to P.S. 386, the school where he taught his 10-year-old alleged victim.
He was teaching fifth grade Special Education before he was removed from his assignment today and arrested by the NYPD, Pankratz said.
Criscuolo's annual salary was $72,990, according to Department records.
Steven Reed, a spokesperson for the Bronx District Attorney's office, said Criscuolo likely won't be arraigned before Thursday morning.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat