FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 26, 2016
Former East Williamsburg Assistant Principal Convicted of
Raping Former Student
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 47-year-old Queens man has been convicted of third-degree rape for abusing a former student at Progress High School for Professional Careers, in East Williamsburg, where he served as an assistant principal.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant was an assistant principal who violated the trust of a vulnerable teenager when he coerced her to engage in an unwanted sex act using her immigration status as leverage. This young woman had the courage to speak out against this abuse. He’s now been held accountable for his deplorable actions.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as William Abreu, 47, of Jamaica, Queens. He was convicted today of third-degree rape following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice. The defendant faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced on November 29, 2016.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, between June 17, 2009 and July 31, 2009 the victim—then a 17-year-old recent graduate of Progress High School—worked in the defendant’s school office during the 2009 summer school session. The defendant began making inappropriate sexual advances to the teenager. Aware of the victim’s status as an undocumented immigrant, the defendant threatened to contact immigration authorities if she did not comply and then proceeded to grope and rape her. The defendant further threatened immigration action if the victim did not continue to work for him.
The defendant was fired by the New York City Department of Education in November 2013.
The case was referred to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office by the New York City Department of Investigation’s Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kevin O’Donnell, of the District Attorney’s Special Victim’s Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief.