A teacher at a Jamaica school has been arrested on charges that he had sex with a student, who may have been as young as 16 at the time, and in exchange he allegedly gave her money and gifts.
Vaughn McKinney, 58, taught an orchestral music class at IS 59, a middle school at 132-55 Ridgedale St., and made $83,642 annually, according to the Department of Education. He allegedly met his victim, who attended a public school in Brooklyn, through a choir program run by his wife.
“He has already been removed from the school, and we are seeking his termination,” David Pena, a spokesman for the DOE, said in an email statement. McKinney was “reassigned” in June 2012.
The teen victim told investigators that McKinney gave her $150 for her birthday, a cell phone and an iPod, took her to SoHo to purchase a pair of shoes and paid her cell phone bills, according to a report by Richard Condon, the special commissioner of investigation for city schools.
The girl, who was feeling ashamed about their relationship, informed a church pastor about the affair. He called McKinney and threatened to tell his wife if he didn’t end things, which McKinney said he did at that point in October 2011. However, the victim said they continued to sleep together until January 2012.
McKinney told investigators that he had sex with the victim at the Surfside Motel in Howard Beach six or seven times and at his Brooklyn home on some Sundays while his wife was at church. The teen said that during the encounters at McKinney’s home, he took her to the basement where they had sex on a couch. She added that he always wore a condom when they had intercourse and that they also engaged in oral sex on several occasions.
McKinney said that he had known the girl for about three years and bought her the gifts because he felt sorry for her since she complained about “not having things that other kids her age had,” according to the SCI report.
The victim’s father brought her to the 69th Precinct in Brooklyn after he found out she had been having sex with McKinney, but the teen refused to cooperate with the NYPD or to make statements against the teacher.
Condon sent a letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott on Sept. 14 recommending that he fire McKinney and make him ineligible for future positions with the DOE. He is also referring his findings to Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes, Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown and the state Education Department for whatever action each deems appropriate.