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'I sound like a pervert': High school teacher accused of having sexual relationship with mentally ill 16-year-old

Screenshot of Rising Ground YouTube video

A high school teacher in New York City was fired from her job earlier this month in the wake of accusations that she conducted a long-term sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student.

Before she lost her job, Sandy Carazas-Pinez, 33, was a biology teacher at the Biondi School in Yonkers, New York. Biondi is run by the nonprofit organization Rising Ground and aims to educate students with special needs. "The Biondi Middle and High School provides educational and therapeutic support to both residential and day students who have behavioral and emotional challenges, learning disabilities, or intellectual/developmental disabilities," the Rising Ground website states.

However, the mother of a Biondi student claimed she had recently discovered that Carazas-Pinez had been exchanging sexually explicit text messages with and sending nude photos to her 16-year-old son, who suffers from schizophrenia and a mood disorder. The mother then reported Carazas-Pinez to the school and to local authorities.

"It’s the rape of a child with a mental illness," the unnamed mother said. "As a society, we have to prioritize the safety of children who are mentally ill and boys who are sexually assaulted."

The text messages that the former teacher allegedly sent the boy appear damning:

  • "I do miss your touch and kisses not going to lie. I also miss seeing you masturbate, I sound like a pervert."
  • "I usually go for much older men. Yea you're the crazy exception."
  • "I am not a piece of a** with no feelings you hurt me and you continue to do it. I CARE FOR YOU!! I do not understand how you can doubt that."
  • "They're saying we were too close … that it was pretty much like us being in a relationship. And that's, like, against everything. One, because you're underage, and two, because I'm your teacher."

She also allegedly made reference to engaging in oral sex with the boy and asked the boy to lie if he were ever confronted about their relationship.

An investigation into their relationship indicated that Carazas-Pinez had had sex with the boy in her car at least a dozen times. The two were supposedly careful to avoid security cameras in the parking lot. After one such encounter, the boy reportedly texted Carazas-Pinez, "Did they see us having sex, or did they see me getting in the car? They didn't see us having sex, so what's the issue? … We hid from the cameras, though, right?"

Carazas-Pinez vehemently denied the inappropriate relationship, claiming she simply responded in kind whenever the boy told her he loved her. She also admitted she once gave him a ride in her car when it was snowing. When asked about the nude photos of her on the boy's phone, Carazas-Pinez claimed that the boy had access to her phone's passcode.

Despite her denials, officials with Rising Ground swiftly terminated Carazas-Pinez. "We are upset, shocked, and appalled by the behavior of a former teacher who betrayed the values of the school by engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student," the school said in a statement.

Though the Long Island District Attorney’s Office and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office claimed that they are investigating the matter, no criminal charges have been brought against Carazas-Pinez, and the boy's mother is outraged.

"If my son was not an African-American boy, and the genders were reversed, you know the teacher would already be in handcuffs," the woman claimed. She also alleged that one officer even made light of the teacher's behavior.

"Where were those teachers when I was in high school?" the unidentified officer reportedly joked.

Carazas-Pinez is married with three children. However, a journalist with the New York Post reportedly overheard Carazas-Pinez's husband tell her, "You’re done, Sandy, if this is true. . . . You’re f***ing done. Pack your stuff and leave."

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