THE BRONX (PIX11) – Speaking from the doorway of the family’s apartment in their only on-camera interview, an aunt says she is happy the cops caught the guy responsible for the heinous crime.
“I’m just sad this happened to my niece, you know, she is just a child,” said the victim’s aunt.
The aunt did not want us to show her face or use her name in order to protect the identity of her niece, who at only 10-years-old is now a rape victim.
Police say, it was at the hands of her trusted teacher, 40-year-old Anthony Criscuolo. He is charged with Rape in the First Degree and Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child.
“He was very polite, very nice with the mother. I met him once because it was 5th grade, she was going to graduate and she was doing well,” said the aunt.
In fact, the aunt says the 5th grader is an honors student. After this, she worries about her niece’s future. She says she is doing okay physically, but mentally, “She’s still in shock. She doesn’t know what’s really going on.”
Police say Criscuolo committed a heinous crime when he tricked the little girl into his grey sedan by offering her a ride to an awards ceremony that never existed. In fact, police say, the teacher planned the attack by using school letterhead to write a letter to the girls mother saying she had won an award.
The night of the fabricated ceremony, police say, he drove to a nearby school and raped her in the car.
The girl’s mother contacted police after she found sexually explicit emails the teacher sent to her daughter.
They say those emails alone were enough to arrest him, which they did early Wednesday morning.
“It’s horrible because we trusted him, he’s a teacher. He is supposed to be a role model,” said the aunt.
Parents outside of PS 386 in Fordham Heights feel a similar sense of betrayal and disgust.
“Everybody here has got to be worried because how many other kids did he probably touch? No, that’s insane, that’s disgusting, he’s a rapist, and he’s sick, he’s sick, he needs a hospital,” exclaimed Diana Gonzalez whose daughter goes to the school.
As for the aunt, all she says she wants, is for the monster of a man who did this to “rot in jail.”
Criscuolo, who lives in the Bronx, will be arraigned sometime Thursday.