Jan. 4, 2011 Staff Report
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced yesterday that a 58-year-old teacher, who has taught at Aviation High School in the Long Island City section of Queens for more than 20 years, has been charged with sexually abusing a female student at the school between December 2008 and January 2009.
District Attorney Brown said, “The charges are disturbing on so many levels. As a teacher and an adult, the defendant was in a position of power and had no business engaging in inappropriate contact with one of his students. Such conduct cannot go unpunished.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as George Zola, 58, of Valley Stream, Long Island. Zola, who is employed as a shop teacher at Aviation Career & Technical High School, located at 45-30 36th Street in Long Island City, Queens, is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of first-degree attempted sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
If convicted, Zola, who has taught at the school for 22 years and is presently assigned to administrative duties, faces up to four years in prison.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the criminal charges, Zola sexually abused one of his female students on multiple occasions by inappropriately touching her breasts, buttocks and vagina over and under her clothing, rubbing his body against hers or taking her hand and forcing her to touch him. On at least one occasion, Zola allegedly told the student, who was sixteen-years old at the time, “This is how it’s gonna be.” The incidents allegedly occurred inside the school between December 1, 2008, and January 22, 2009,
The case came to light when the student informed a school guidance counselor about the alleged abuse in June 2010.