A Riverdale prep school teacher has been accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage female student.
Richard Hovan, 30, was indicted yesterday on charges that he had sexual contact with a student while a teacher at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx.
He pleaded not guilty yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court to charges of a criminal sex act and endangering the welfare of a child.
Prosecutors say he had a sexual relationship with a teenage student at the school for more than a year, including sexual contact at a Chelsea residence.
According to the Manhattan district attorney's office, the girl was 15 years old when alleged communication like texts began, and 16 years old when the alleged crimes in the indictment took place.
The alleged contact, including e-mail, texts, phone calls and in person, was from December 2010 to May 2011, according to court documents.
Hovan was fired from Riverdale Country School last year.
His attorney, Vinoo Varghese, told Metro, “Richard Hovan is a dedicated son, brother and teacher. He is innocent
of these charges and looking forward to clearing his name.”
In a statement provided to Metro, Dominic A.A. Randolph, head of Riverdale Country School, said the school is "deeply saddened by this incident."
"Upon learning of these serious allegations last May, we immediately conducted a preliminary investigation and, consistent with our policies, notified the appropriate authorities, and terminated the teacher," Randolph said. "Throughout this year-long process, we have attempted to address this situation in a way that protects the affected family and our students as well as discharging our broader obligations. We will continue to cooperate fully with the district attorney’s office."
Hovan's next court date is May 22.