Bronx assistant principal arrested on sex abuse charges
An assistant principal at a Bronx elementary school was arrested Tuesday morning on charges he fondled two young girls, officials said.
Joseph Ponzo, 59, is accused of touching two girls' chests over their shirts last Tuesday in P.S. 106, where he has been assistant principal since 2008. The alleged victims are 10 and 11 years old.
Education officials said Ponzo was hired in 1996 as a substitute teacher and became an elementary school teacher in the Bronx the following year. He was promoted to assistant principal in 2000 at another school, and currently earns a salary of $117,739.
A spokeswoman for the department said Ponzo has been reassigned pending the outcome of the police investigation, and no previous allegations of sexual abuse had been made against him.
Ponzo is at least the eighth education department employee accused of sexual abuse so far this year.
The Bronx District Attorney's office said Ponzo was still in police custody Tuesday evening, and would likely be arraigned late last night or early this morning. His lawyer's name was unknown.
Ponzo faces charges of sex abuse and an act in manner injurious to a child.