THE BRONX (PIX11) - The aunt of a ten-year-old girl who said she was raped by her homeroom teacher at P.S. 386 in the Bronx collapsed outside the courthouse Monday.
The girl’s grandmother also fought back tears, telling reporters “I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. He’s a beast. He broke my heart.”
40-year-old Anthony Criscuolo was indicted by a Bronx grand jury Monday, after he turned down his chance to testify and didn’t bother to appear in court for a hearing. The girl’s relatives angrily called Criscuolo a coward for not facing them in the courtroom. Criscuolo stayed in a jail cell, while the brief proceeding took place.
Disturbing details of Criscuolo’s behavior before—and after—the alleged rape have been emerging since his arrest last Wednesday. The girl told police Criscuolo wrote a letter on school letterhead, claiming she was receiving a special honor and that he would drive her to the awards ceremony last Monday. Instead, the police complaint revealed Criscuolo took the girl in his silver Dodge Charger with tinted windows and raped her near another school.
The suspect allegedly e-mailed an apology to the girl the next day, telling her, “I was too rough. Sorry. It’s normal. You may feel pain for a few days.” The complaint said he then cryptically added, “How did it feel for you?”
According to recent reports in the New York Post, students at P.S. 386 claimed Criscuolo and the fifth grade student were playing “husband and wife” and danced closely at a Valentine’s Day party earlier this year. The students claimed Criscuolo even gave the 10 year old a diamond ring.
Criscuolo allegedly began touching the girl in April, before the June attack, and told her, “I like you. I’m doing this because I like you. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. If you feel uncomfortable, ask me to stop.”
Criscuolo was arrested last Wednesday, charged with first degree rape and predatory assault of a child.
PIX 11 visited Frisby Avenue in the Bronx Monday, where the suspect lived, until his father died two years ago and the house was sold.
“I grew up with him, and he seemed like a normal kid,” said 42-year old J.R. Rodriguez. “His mother died when he was about 14.”
Rodriguez said he never noticed Criscuolo dating women. “He was to himself, like a loner….Never seen him with a little girl. Never saw him with a girl. Period.”
Rodriguez told PIX Criscuolo worked out almost every day at the nearby Powerhouse Gym. When PIX 11 visited the facility, gym employee, Steve Kirov, said he saw Criscuolo frequently.
“He was big, he was very built,” Kirov told PIX 11. “I was shocked. Everybody was shocked. A lot of people knew him. He’s actually a very calm, normal guy.”
Police would beg to differ.