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Cops: Teacher had sexual ties with student

Kaitlin Grant, a substitute teacher from the Freeport

Kaitlin Grant, a substitute teacher from the Freeport school district accused of having a relationship with a 15-year-old female student, is brought into Nassau Police headquarters in Mineola. (March 9, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A former high school and college basketball star was charged Friday with having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student she met while substitute teaching at Freeport High School.

Kaitlin Grant, 23, of Elmont, pleaded not guilty at First District Court in Hempstead to three felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual act and misdemeanor child endangerment.

Her father, Maurice Grant, an assistant principal at the school, held hands with his wife, Yvette, during the arraignment before Judge Helen Voutsinas.

Voutsinas issued a protection order on behalf of the student, telling Grant not to contact her "directly or indirectly." Bail was set at $9,000 bond, $4,500 cash.

Grant's attorney, Scott Carrigan of Garden City, said he had only a brief discussion with his client and wasn't fully aware of the facts of the case.

"They're a very proud, religious family, very well-respected in the community," he said.

Grant's parents declined to comment after the arraignment.

Kishore Kuncham, superintendent of Freeport schools, said in a statement that the district was "disturbed" by the allegations and that Grant "will no longer work" there.

Attorney Michael DerGarabedian of Rockville Centre, who represents the 15-year-old, said Grant should have known "this wasn't a relationship between consenting adults.

"The victim in this case is rightfully very confused and probably going to need professional counseling to get past this," he said.

Nassau police said Grant, of 787 Caroline Ave., was arrested at her home at 2:17 a.m. Friday.

Grant was a star basketball player at Elmont Memorial High School who was named to the All-Long Island second team in 2005-06 as a senior. She later played for Loyola University in Maryland, where she was named most valuable player as a junior in 2008-09.

Police said Grant, who taught earth science and math, among other subjects, met the girl at Freeport High, but would not say if the girl had been one of her students.

"They met while in school, and they started interacting while in school," Nassau Det. Sgt. Carlo Maltempi said.

Police said there were "several liaisons" between Grant and the student, starting last November and continuing until February. The age of consent in New York State is 17.

The teen's family became suspicious when they found a photo of the teen with Grant and questioned the girl about it on Wednesday, police said. The next day, the mother and a family member went to police.

The school district said Grant had passed all background checks, in compliance with state law, and had no prior criminal record. She began working as a substitute teacher a year ago, officials said.

With Ann Givens

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