Sept. 21, 2012 By Christian Murray
A high school teacher was acquitted by a Queens jury Wednesday after he was accused of molesting a female student at Aviation High.
George Zola, who had taught shop at the Long Island City-based high school for 20 years, had been charged with sexually abusing a female student between December 2008 and January 2009.
“Free at last, free at last,” Zola, 58, of Valley Stream, reportedly said, after being exonerated of all charges.
Zola was accused of inappropriately touching a student’s breasts and body parts. He faced up to 4 years in prison, after being charged with first-degree attempted sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
“We just couldn’t believe her story completely,” said one juror, according to reports. “It’s sad.”
The student, now 20, said that she often came to school drunk and high on drugs.
The case came to light when the student informed a school guidance counselor about the alleged abuse in June 2010.
Many local children attend Aviation High, which is near the south-west border of Sunnyside.
I was a student of Mr. Zola. The man is not just a teacher he is a mentor an leader, a great teacher. He was so excellent that I used to wake up and go to school early to go to his class early because his shop was open early. This nation needs teachers like him. Many students were motivated because of his leadership qualities. He gave me a edge in the Navy because of his detailed information of military aircraft. New York has a void of not having him in the teaching ranks. Mr. Zola you are a great man. Thank you for great high school memories.
I went to school with George Zola. The young man I knew would never act in that manner. When I first saw the accusations, I knew they were false. I am glad to see he was acquitted.
Many years ago I was encouraged to teach at the high school I graduated from in Manhattan. The offer came from several of my old teachers and friends. Sadly the school had changed to co-ed and I found that I was nothing more than an enforcer rather than a teacher. The potential for an incident was high.
I left in favor of a sales position in private industry and never looked back.
As someone that has known George Zola personally for 25 years I can state with certainty that there is no way he committed the alleged acts. The jury got it right. The girl was a liar!!!
It’s true that sometimes people lie about being assulted however this article doesn’t say that. It says that the jury didn’t “completely” believe her.
Now where does he go to get his untarnished reputation back?
If the girl lied, she should be prosecuted.
This is why I don’t surround myself around women, they lie.
Just like there are laws against people crying fire, there should be laws against girls who cry wolf. This a form of deformation of character.