Since we reported on the teacher’s assistant who was arrested on charges of sexually abusing a young boy at PS 87 at 160 West 78th Street, more details have emerged about the case. Gregory Atkins, the 56-year-old teacher’s assistant, was arraigned over the weekend, and is being held on $250,000 bail.
The boy he is accused of abusing is eight years old, and is disabled, news reports say. Atkins was assigned to help him. Atkins allegedly made him undress at least five times on Feb. 2, four times in a bathroom and once in auditorium, to “check for bruises”. He is also accused of touching the boy while he was undressed and attempting oral sex.
The child told adults immediately, according to reports.
Atkins’ neighbors were apparently not surprised that he’d been arrested; for years, they’d been confused by all the teenagers who were hanging out in and around his apartment on West 148th Street, DNAinfo reported.
On Monday morning, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Principal Monica Berry and officials from the district attorney’s office will meet with parents at 8:30 at the school. Among the big questions parents are likely to ask: why did school officials let Atkins near children when questions were raised about his behavior as far back as 2006, as we reported on Friday.
Photo by Avi.