Teacher gets probation for sex with teen

Tara Driscoll, Queens teacher accused of having relations Tara Driscoll, Queens teacher accused of having relations with a student, leaves the Nassau County Courthouse after being sentenced in Mineola, New York. (June 15, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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A Queens schoolteacher from Bay Shore was sentenced Friday to probation and required to register as a sex offender for having sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student at a hotel in Lynbrook last year.

Tara Driscoll, 34, pleaded guilty in March in District Court in Mineola to misdemeanor sexual misconduct in return for a plea deal under which she will serve probation for six years and give up her teacher's license.

Driscoll also will have to move from her home at 17 Anna St. because it is near a school, and she was ordered not to have any contact with the victim.

Before imposing the sentence, Judge William O'Brien referred to the encounter with the student as "this incredibly bad decision you have made," and noted that the probation report said Driscoll had "a severe problem with alcohol."

Assistant District Attorney Jamie Johnson told the judge that alcohol was not a factor in the commission of the crime.

The judge adjudicated Driscoll as a Level 1 sexual offender, meaning there is low risk that she will be a repeat offender. Defense attorney Virginia LoPreto told the judge she would not challenge that finding.

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Driscoll did not speak during the 15-minute court proceeding and refused to comment as she entered and left the courthouse.

Prosecutors said Driscoll drove the student to the Capri Lynbrook Motor Inn 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 Cambria Heights. The victim was a student at the school, but officials have not said whether he was in any of Driscoll's classes. She has been fired from her job.

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