The initial allegations were enough of a cause for concern: an assistant principal at a Brooklyn high school accused of sexually harassing students there. Now, investigators say they've substantiated claims that he raped a student, and that he did not act alone. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
They needed help. A 16-year old girl came to him with a bullying issue. A 17-year-old didn't have immigration documentation. He promised a job and an introduction to a good lawyer.
Then, investigators say William Abreu, a former assistant principal at Progress High School, sexually assaulted both girls in his office. The attacks happened on separate occasions from 2009 to 2011.
At one point, investigators say he raped the 17-year old, threatening to have her deported if she resisted.
Then, investigators say, he handed the girls over to Juan Martinez, who founded the school and ran an affiliated nonprofit. In his office, both girls were allegedly sexually abused again, the 16-year-old forced to perform oral sex.
"It's even more horrifying because they were sharing these girls," said Special Schools Investigator Richard J. Condon. "One pervert is bad enough. When you have one person having sex with a girl and then sending her on to another person, and then, apparently Abreu also propositioned the one girl that he would take her on trips with him and have her have sex with other people, and she would get paid for that."
This is not NY1's first report on William Abreu. In June 2012, investigators found he'd made inappropriate sexual comments, and propositioned, three 15-year-old students. That media coverage inspired one of the latest victims to speak up.
While investigators didn't speculate on whether there might be more victims, some of the interviews quoted in the report suggest there could be. According to one of the girls, the assistant principal said other students were "doing the same thing" with both him and Martinez. Another student warned one of the victims that Abreu "likes pretty girls to have sex with him." And a school aide said Abreu interviewed students for jobs with Martinez, but just female students.
Investigators say the assistant principal also stole $1,500 from the mother of the girl he allegedly raped. He had introduced her to a man he said was an immigration lawyer. She said that after she handed over the cash, she was unable to reach either the assistant principal or the man she thought was an attorney.
NY1 spoke with someone who said the former assistant principal was in good spirits earlier this week, confident that the DOE's efforts to fire him for the first report was about to fail.
Now, with these latest revelations, he may face more than just a new Department of Education termination hearing. The Brooklyn district attorney said his office is reviewing the cases against both men.