2013-04-10 / Front Page

Flushing Teacher Charged In Student Sex-Text Trysts

By Liz Goff

Stunned parents stood in clusters outside I.S. 237 in Flushing on Tuesday morning, rocked by the arrest of a 6th Grade English teacher charged with carrying on a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old former student.

Daniel Riley, 35, was charged with 12 counts of rape and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child at his arraignment at Queens Criminal Court on April 9, where prosecutors said the accused rapist had sex with the girl 10 times between August 2012 and “just days ago.”

The relationship was revealed when the girl’s sister discovered explicit text messages on the girl’s cell phone that she had hidden under a code name, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Riley and the teen first had sex at an apartment he shares with his wife and infant child on Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills. The pair later met at other locations to continue the sexual relationship, prosecutors said.

Emotions shared by parents outside the Flushing school ranged from shock to disgust, with one mother saying she admired Riley – and thought he was a “terrific motivator” when her daughter was in his class two years ago.

“I can’t believe this,” the distraught mother said. “I trusted this man with my child. I allowed her to stay (with other classmates) after school for special projects.

“The thought that this could have happened to my child is appalling,” she said.

Riley, a former Marine sergeant, was surrounded by the press and angry parents as he left Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday afternoon, after posting $50,000 bail ordered by the court. Riley was also issued an Order of Protection by the court, instructing him to stay away from the girl, who is now 14-years-old.

Dressed all in black, Riley kept his gaze above the cameras and refused to speak with reporters as he headed for a black SUV that was waiting outside the courthouse for him.

Defense attroney Eric Franz called the charges “unfortunate and regrettable,” and said his office is investigating the allegations to determine if they are true.

“Mr. Riley is heading home after posting bail,” Franz said. “The judge set the bail and determined that he is not a threat, so he is heading home to his family.”

City schools chancellor Dennis Walcott said Riley’s alleged actions are “totally unacceptable.”

“We have no tolerance for this type of behavior,” Walcott said adding, “Keep your hands off our students.”

Walcott said Riley, who has been teaching at I.S. 237 for five years, has no record of complaints filed with the Department of Education.

“If it was my daughter, I’d kill him,” one furious father told reporters outside the school. “He’s lucky it wasn’t my daughter.”



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