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Pedophile teacher admits guilt

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Anthony Laufgraben, a 34-year-old social studies teacher at Cardozo, was arrested June 22, 2004 on charges of engaging in sexually explicit communications and trying to set up a sexual encounter with another person that he believed was a 14-year-old boy but was actually a police detective, the DA said in a Feb. 16 statement.Laufgraben, of 69-28 Springfield Blvd. in Fresh Meadows, had corresponded with the undercover detective from May 2004 to June 2004 through online instant messages, the DA said. He admitted that he had e-mailed the detective a photo through his screen name "TONYNYR94" and asked about the fictional boy's sexual development and if he wanted to experiment, Brown said. Laufgraben also gave the detective a password to access a pornographic Web site and arranged a meeting at a Kew Gardens restaurant near Forest Park, which he said was a good place to have a sexual encounter, according to the DA.Laufgraben had taught underclassmen at Cardozo for more than four years and also tutored students after school, the TimesLedger reported in June."The case shows that law enforcement is vigilantly patrolling the Internet to protect children from sexual predators and should also serve as a clear and unmistakable warning to those who would seek to steal the innocence of children that law enforcement is alert and prepared to apprehend, prosecute and punish them," Brown said in a statement. Calls placed to Laufgraben's attorney, Robert Sparrow, were not returned.Laufgraben is due back in court for sentencing March 9 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt, who has indicated she will sentence him to six months in jail and five years probation, the DA said.In addition, Laufgraben is enrolling in a sex offender treatment program, surrendering his teaching license, registering as a sex offender, and is not to engage in a profession where he will be placed in direct contact with children, according to Brown.Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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