In his first public remarks about the indictment of a Brooklyn Technical High School teacher accused of sexually abusing students, the school’s principal said last week that school officials were unaware of any allegations against the teacher until his arrest in August, the New York Times reported.
The teacher, Sean Shaynak, was indicted last week on 36 charges that included kidnapping, criminal sexual act, obscenity, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty.
According to the Times, police arrested Shaynak, 44, in August after a student complained that he sent her a photo of his penis through the app Snapchat.
Shaynak now stands accused of preying on seven female students over three years, plying them with alcohol and cigarettes, exchanging racy text messages and photos with them, and taking one to a nude beach and another to a sex club, according to an indictment announced this week by the Brooklyn district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson. The teacher had sex with two of the girls after they reached the legal age of consent, 17, law enforcement officials said.
While most students who were interviewed after Shaynak’s arrest maintained that they did not know he was a sexual predator, they did reveal that he was unusually close with some students, often in ways that would likely alarm parents. Shaynak was seen by students as one of their own, smoking with them and sometimes attending their parties. In this way, he gained the trust of his students and groomed his victims.
While the principal insisted that “nothing ever came forward” about Shaynak before his arrest, at least one parent asked how the teacher, who was charged with beating an 11-year-old in Maryland in 2005, could have been hired without the school knowing about the charge.
The principal said that Mr. Shaynak came to the school with a clean record from the Department of Education. While the charge against was expunged from the public record, a search of public court records would have turned up a restraining order against Mr. Shaynak with information about the accusation.