Probation for teacher in student sex case

Schoolteacher Tara Driscoll, 33, of Bay Shore, pleaded Schoolteacher Tara Driscoll, 33, of Bay Shore, pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct after admitting to having sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student, prosecutors said. (Aug. 5, 2011) Photo Credit: NCPD

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A New York City schoolteacher from Bay Shore will be sentenced to probation and have to register as a sex offender after admitting Tuesday to having sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student a year ago, prosecutors said.

Tara Driscoll, 33, of 17 Anna St., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual misconduct. She will be sentenced to six years' probation and must give up her teacher's license effective at her next court date, May 22, prosecutors said.

Driscoll, who is free on bail, did not comment as she left court. Her lawyer, Virginia A. LoPreto of Manhattan, did not return calls Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Driscoll drove the student to the Capri Lynbrook Motor Inn in Lynbrook on March 19, 2011, "and engaged in sexual relations" with him.

Driscoll had taught English since 2006 at the Campus Magnet Educational Complex -- the former Andrew Jackson High School -- in the Cambria Heights section of Queens. She surrendered to detectives Aug. 5.

She had originally been charged with performing a criminal sex act and third-degree rape under New York's statutory rape law. The state age of consent is 17.

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Prosecutors said the boy's mother found out about the encounter and confronted her son, who admitted it.

"We believe it to be a one-time deal," Nassau police spokesman Det. Vincent Garcia said at the time of the arrest. "She picked him up on the day, and they drove" to the motel after having arranged to meet in Queens -- not his home and not at school, he said.

Two law enforcement sources familiar with the case said at the time that video of the encounter was taken on the teen's cellphone. The video along with an interview with the victim and phone records were used as evidence against Driscoll, authorities said.

City Education Department spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said that after Driscoll was arrested she was reassigned off campus to administrative duties. She earned $56,707 a year.

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