CONCOURSE, the Bronx — He's a 24 year-old after-school program counselor whose job it is to provide guidance to middle-school students.
He's now accused of raping and committing other criminal sex acts on one of those children. The counselor, Michael Jenkins, is set to be formally charged for the crimes that have left a community in shock, and have caused the city to reevaluate the program in which he'd worked.
Jenkins was arrested Wednesday on a long list of charges related to the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. She's a student at Angelo Patri Middle School in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx, where Jenkins is a counselor in a program called Schools Out NYC, or SONYC.
It offers dance, music and other activities designed to give kids safe alternatives after school. However, investigators say, the middle school-age girl was not safe with Jenkins. He met with the girl outside of school on Monday, according to law enforcement sources, and took her to his home, where they engaged in sex acts.
The girl reported the incident on Wednesday, and hours later, Jenkins was under arrest.
Among the charges are sex abuse, rape, forcible touching, criminal sex act and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17.
"Where's your morals at," asked a neighbor of the school, who only gave his first name and initial, Fonzo M. "You have a little sister? A niece? A daughter? That's just sick. Sick way to act," he said.
He's also a former student of the school, and like many in this community, he is outraged.
"It's sad," said Shelia Gibson, another neighbor. Many residents that PIX11 News encountered said that they'd heard the news about the alleged child rape, but didn't know that it involved their neighborhood school.
"They're supposed to teach [students]," Gibson said, "Not do that."
As for the school itself, many locals familiar with it and its programs describe them positively.
"It's actually a good community school," said Fonzo M. Another former student, who did not want to give his name, agreed, though not quite as wholeheartedly. "It's pretty good," he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education emphasizes that Jenkins does not work for them. SONYC, the program in which he works, is a division of the city's Department of Youth and Community Development, or DYCD.
A city spokesperson gave a statement to PIX11 News about Jenkins and the program in which he's a counselor.
"The individual was immediately suspended without pay," the statement said, "and he is no longer permitted in any schools. DYCD has suspended funding for the program as we determine whether the provider can continue to operate at this school.”