James Madison High School is reeling from its fourth sex scandal in six years after a report that a 38-year-old special education teacher engaged in sexual activity with one of his students on and off school grounds every day for two months.
Robert Cain allegedly befriended and beguiled a student in his Fall 2013 Participation in Government class before luring her into his office in November of that year, groping her, and then having sex with her in a sixth-floor classroom, according to Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools Richard Condon first reported by the New York Post.
Cain allegedly went on to have sex with the student in his office on a daily basis while she cut her fifth-period class, according to Condon’s report. The report also states that Cain took the student to a local Comfort Inn in December 2013, and paid for a hotel room, where he also had sex with the student and took photographs of the act on his cellphone.
Cain denied the allegations when questioned by investigators, but lost his cool when shown copies of his credit card receipts and security camera footage of himself and the girl entering the hotel.
The report quotes Cain as saying “So what if I took [the student], it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m not a tenured teacher, and I won’t get a job teaching anywhere. I might as well resign.”
Cain transferred to a K–12 school on Staten Island in early 2014, before the seven-month investigation was complete. By the time Condon handed the report over to the Department of Education last September, Cain no longer worked for the public schools. He resigned on July 1 last year.
The former teacher was never criminally charged, perhaps because the student — whose age was redacted in the report obtained by this paper — was above the age of consent, which is 17 in New York.
As shocking as Cain’s alleged misconduct may be, the Sheepshead Bay high school is no stranger to sex scandals.
James Madison — alma mater of celebrities and civic leaders such as comedian Chris Rock, Judith “Judge Judy” Sheindlin, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–Park Slope), and current presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (D–Vermont) — has seen three other scandalous affairs since 2009.
• Custodians at Madison said they found French and Spanish language instructors Cindy Mauro and Alini Brito half-naked on the floor of a classroom, with one woman on her knees between the legs of the other, late one night in November 2009. Brito, a diabetic, claimed that Mauro was giving her an insulin injection and that she had removed her shirt to use as a pillow. The pair was originally fired, but a judge ruled that teachers could not be fired for having consensual sex with one another, even in an empty classroom. Brito served a one-year suspension and is scheduled to be back in the school system in the fall, though not necessarily at Madison. Mauro’s case has yet to be resolved.
• English teacher Erin Sayar took a plea deal in her 2012 statutory rape case for allegedly giving marijuana to a 16-year-old student, exchanging nearly 4,000 texts with him in a one-week period, and having sex with him at least eight times — including on school grounds. Sayar was classified as a Level 1 sex offender, lost her teaching license, and is serving 10 years probation.
Condon’s report on Cain was forwarded to the city’s Office of Legal Services, and notes that Cain is no longer eligible for employment in the city’s school system.