A math professor at Nassau Community College was arrested Friday morning, accused of grabbing a student who was in his office to take a makeup test, authorities said.
The professor, Alfred Magrella, 56, of 4 Campbell Dr., Dix Hills, was taken into custody at his home after an investigation into the incident, which police said occurred April 19 at 11:30 a.m.
He was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching of a student, according to Nassau County police.
Police said Magrella, who is listed in the Nassau Community College directory as a professor in the Math, Computer Science & Information Technology Department, "did engage in inappropriate sexual contact with a female student."
Police would not identify the student but said she is about 20 years old.
College spokesman Reggie Tuggle said the administration would meet Friday afternoon or on Monday to determine what internal actions, if any, the college should take in the case.
"This is a pretty horrific allegation if it's true. We're deeply concerned about the implications of this allegation," Tuggle said. "At the same time there are due processes we have to adhere to."
Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a police spokesman, said the student had gone to Magrella's office to take the makeup test.
"He immediately closed the door behind her and embraced her in a hug. That hug became a little bit more," he said at a news conference Friday at police headquarters in Mineola.
Magrella touched the student inappropriately and ground his body against hers, Smith said.
"She protested and said she was just there to take the test and leave," Smith said, but the professor said she had already passed.
Magrella started to masturbate then stood in the doorway so the student had to squeeze past him to flee, Smith said.
During the next few days, the professor left phone messages for the student asking how she was doing, police said. She contacted the college public safety office, which contacted police.
Magrella was charged with forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse. He was arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was due back in court May 14.
Magrella was hired in February 1976, first working as a teaching assistant, and was appointed in 1980 as an instructor, Tuggle said.
Tuggle said that Magrella, who now teaches algebra and statistics, earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from the New York Institute of Technology.