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John O'Mard, former Freeport principal, gets 60 days in jail for sex with teen, lying about criminal past

John O'Mard, a former Freeport middle school principal

John O'Mard, a former Freeport middle school principal who admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old boy and lying about his criminal past to keep his job, is sentenced at the Nassau County Courthouse on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 in Mineola. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A former Freeport middle school principal was sentenced Wednesday to 60 days in jail for having sex with a teenage boy and lying about his criminal past.

John O'Mard, 46, of Freeport was contrite before Nassau County Court Angelo Delligati, telling the judge that he took "full responsibility" and is "truly remorseful . . . I'm very sorry for my actions . . . I made some bad decisions . . . My goal is to be a much better person."

But later, wearing sunglasses and smiling as he was ushered down a hallway in handcuffs, O'Mard proclaimed to reporters: "I was the best principal ever and . . . Freeport set me up and . . . God is good all the time!"

O'Mard pleaded guilty last year to four felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual act and offering a false instrument for filing, perjury and official misconduct for lying about his criminal history on education certification applications.

O'Mard, whose sentence also includes 10 years' probation, was required to surrender his state education certificates, barring him from ever working at a school in New York State. A separate hearing on O'Mard's sex offender level status was set for March 5.

Assistant District Attorney D.J. Rosenbaum, of the Special Victims Bureau, said the then-16-year-old chose not to give a victim impact statement at sentencing and was "relieved" to not testify at trial.

Delligatti, who noted he could have sentenced O'Mard to up to 4 years in jail, said: "I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the sincerity of your remorse."

A statement from Freeport schools called O'Mard's crimes "a breach of trust and confidence."

O'Mard's attorney, Edward Jenks, called his client a "beaten down man . . . Every vestige of the life he had has disappeared." Deveraux Cannick, also O'Mard's lawyer, said a psychologist deemed O'Mard was "not a sexual predator . . . not attracted to children."

O'Mard was the principal of J.W. Dodd Middle School when he had sex at his home with the teen, whom he met through a dating website, authorities said. Cannick said the website was "supposed to be for adults" and that the victim "presented himself as an adult."

When O'Mard, who was the school's principal since 2003, was arrested in March 2013, his past convictions -- for grand larceny in 1990 and petty larceny in 1987 -- became public.

An investigation by state education officials concluded he had gotten around state background checks by submitting someone else's fingerprints.

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