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Principal raped teen girl in S. Jamaica home: DA

He threatened the girl that her mother would go to jail and she...

By Courtney Dentch

A Brooklyn elementary school principal who lives in South Jamaica was charged with raping a 14-year-old girl on almost a weekly basis since April 2001, the Queens district attorney said.

He threatened the girl that her mother would go to jail and she would be sent to an orphanage if she told anyone, according to DA Richard Brown.

Leroy Johnson, 42, of 159-16 Meyer Ave. in South Jamaica allegedly began having sex with the girl at his home when she was 11 years old in a pattern that continued over the past 26 months, Brown said.

“The defendant is alleged to have engaged in sexual relations with a female child less than 13 years of age and to have knowingly acted in a manner likely to be injurious to her emotional, physical and moral welfare,” Brown said in a statement. “The charges are serious and disturbing and warrant vigorous prosecution.”

Johnson allegedly began the affair with the girl, who was not identified, in April 2001, when she was just 11 years old, Brown said. According to the criminal charges, Johnson is accused of having sex with the girl about once a week at his home in South Jamaica, Brown said. The abuse allegedly continued until last month. The girl is now 14.

An investigation by the New York Police Department and the district attorney’s office started after an anonymous call was placed to the New York State Child Abuse Hotline, Brown said.

Johnson was charged with sexual conduct against a child, rape and endangering the welfare of a child, Brown said. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Johnson was arrested July 2 and was arraigned last Thursday in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens before Judge Suzanne Melendez, who set bail at $100,000, Brown said. Johnson was due back in court July 21.

At Johnson’s arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Eric Rosenbaum told Melendez that the authorities had recorded conversations between Johnson and the girl in which she asked him what to do about the police investigation. Johnson allegedly told the girl to say any DNA evidence investigators found on her was from her boyfriend, a law enforcement source said.

Johnson, who has been the principal of PS 25 in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, is a 20-year veteran of the city’s Department of Education. He was suspended from his duties at the school after his arrest July 2, a spokesman for the Department of Education said.

The girl was not a student at the Brooklyn school, Brown said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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