A 58-year-old teacher was charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old female student at Aviation Career & Technical Education High School in Long Island City Monday, January 3.
George Zola, of Valley Stream, Long Island, has taught at the school for 22 years as a shop teacher but now is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of first-degree attempted sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, Zola, who is presently assigned to administrative duties at the school, faces up to four years in prison.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Zola sexually abused one of his female students on multiple occasions and on at least one occasion, Zola allegedly told the student, “This is how it’s gonna be.”
The incidents allegedly occurred inside the school between December 1, 2008 and January 22, 1009 and only came to light when the student informed a school guidance counselor in June 2010.
“The charges are disturbing on so many levels,” Brown said. “As a teacher and an adult, the defendant was in a position of power and had no business engaging in inappropriate contact with one of his students. Such conduct cannot go unpunished.”