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BREAKING NEWS: New Rochelle Police Arrest Jose Martinez, Recently Resigned Assistant Principal of Jefferson School

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BREAKING NEWS: New Rochelle Police Arrest Jose Martinez, Recently Resigned Assistant Principal of Jefferson School

March 25, 2011 - 13:58
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JoseMartinezThe New Rochelle Police Department will hold a news conference today regarding the arrest of Jose Martinez, Assistant Principal of Jefferson School. Press conference to be held at 11 a.m. Talk of the Sound first reported Martinez had abruptly resigned last Friday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Rather than run a series of stories we are consolidating reporting on this article throughout the weekend, adding updates to the original article. If you have additional information you may add a comment to the post or contact Talk of the Sound (robertcox@newrochelletalk.com).

Bob Marrone will be calling into Talk of the Sound Radio show after the press conference with a full report. Tune in to the show at 11:08 a.m. for more.

Live Reporting on WVOX Talk of the Sound Radio from NRPD Press Conference (Bob Cox, Bob Marrone)

March 18th, 2011: New Assistant Principal at the Jefferson Elementary School in New Rochelle Abruptly Resigns, Disappears

UPDATE: Friday March 25 2:30 PM New Rochelle Police Press Conference. Former Assistant Principal Jose Martinez,38, was arrested and charged with Sexual Molestation-2nd Degree, accused of oral sex and sexual contact with a 14-year old student at Isaac Young Middle School up until June 2010. As first reported on Talk of the Sound last week, Martinez abruptly resigned his position as Assistant Principal of Jefferson Elementary School, a position to which he was promoted over the summer. He began serving as the Jefferson AP last September.

Martinez is in custody of the New Rochelle Police Department and will be arraigned this afternoon at New Rochelle City Court. Martinez was arrested at his home in Brentwood, NY in Long Island. Police said Martinez expressed "shock" at his arrest.

All area TV broadcasts led with the story at noon. Talk of the Sound Radio broadcast a live report by Bob Marrone of WVOX from the New Rochelle police station.

Sources tell Talk of the Sound that while the press conference was underway, three detectives from the New Rochelle Police Department arrived at Isaac E. Young Middle School. They spoke with Principal Anthony Bongo. They brought video camera equipment with them.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY NRPD

March 25, 2011
Statement by New Rochelle Police Department
Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy

Last night (1900 hrs. March 24) New Rochelle Police Detectives, investigating a complaint that a former New Rochelle school district official had engaged in criminal sexual acts with a fourteen year old New Rochelle school district student, arrested Mr. Jose Martinez, age 38, 205 Elliot Street, Brentwood, NY.

Mr. Martinez, a former administrative dean at Isaac E. Young Middle School, is alleged to have engaged in an ongoing course of sexual misconduct with the male student over a period of time extending from March or April 2010 through June 2010. The conduct is alleged to have occurred in Mr. Martinez’ office at the school.

Mr. Martinez was located and taken into custody at his residence in Brentwood and returned to New Rochelle. He has been charged with Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree (D/Felony).

Anthony Bongo is a name that will be very familiar to Talk of the Sound readers which has published stories randing from cheating on standardized tests, to covering up assaults by staff on students, to failing to provide an ambulance for a student with two broken arms, to smoking cigars on school grounds, to covering up a series of racial incidents involving a noose in a school office.

The Anthony Bongo Era At New Rochelle's Isaac E. Young Middle School

UPDATE: Friday March 25 3:30 PM Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak issued the following statement.

Statement from Richard Organisciak, Superintendent of Schools
March 25, 2011

We are deeply concerned about the allegations that have been made against Assistant Principal, Jose Martinez. The safety and welfare of our students remains our priority.

Mr. Martinez was hired by the district in 2007 as Administrative Dean at Isaac E. Young Middle School. He was provided with clearance to work in the school district after passing the normal State criminal fingerprinting check. There had been no record of complaints from students or staff about Mr. Martinez.

Mr. Martinez became Assistant Principal of Jefferson Elementary School in September of this past year. He abruptly resigned as an employee of the New Rochelle School District on March 11th.

The district is fully cooperating with the New Rochelle Police Department as it investigates this very serious matter. All questions related to the investigation should be directed to the New Rochelle Police. The District will also be conducting our own internal investigation.

UPDATE: Martinez arraigned in New Rochelle City Court. Bail was set at $500,000.

AP: "New Rochelle police Capt. Joseph Schaller said the boy's mother told police earlier this month that 'she thought something wrong had gone on between her son and Mr. Martinez but she didn't know the nature of what had gone on.' Deputy Commissioner Anthony Murphy said the sexual misconduct occurred between March or April 2010 through June 2010. Martinez was arrested Thursday night at his home in Brentwood.

UPDATE: Did Martinez pass a background check? Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak says he "passed" a criminal background check based on his fingerprints when he was hired in 2007. Talk of the Sound has learned that in the summer of 2007, Assistant Superintendent Margaret Pecunia informed the Board of Education members that the New York State Department of Education had not completed background checks for new hires but all new hires for 2007-08 would be allowed to start the school year anyway. Two months later, at another Board of Education meeting, Pecunia again stated that no results from SED background checks had been received by the District.

Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak says the school district is conducting their own investigation despite new information that school administrators were informed two years ago about inappropriate behavior by Martinez -- inviting boys into his office, close the window shared, and "bribing" them with candy, money, food and gifts. Multiple sources have now come forward making similar claims that Isaac E. Young Middle School Principal Anthony Bongo and Assistant Principal Towanda Robinson received numerous complaints about Martinez but no action was taken.

UPDATED Saturday March 26 3:00 PM Open Letter to the New Rochelle Board of Education on the Occasion of the Arrest of Jose Martinez on Charges of Sexual Molestation of a Child

UPDATED Saturday March 26 3:30 PM Additional Details on Jose Martinez

Charge: second-degree criminal sexual act, a class D felony (manual and oral sex with a then-14 year old boy between March or April 2010 and June 2010)
Bail: Set at $500,000 bond.
Custody Status: In Custody
Location of Offender: Westchester County Jail
Offender ID: 0000218242
Date of Birth: 03/13/1973
Age: 38
Race: Unknown
Gender: Male
Arrest Number#: 2011001964
Other Jail Number 1#: 0000218242

UPDATED Saturday March 26 3:45 PM Media Coverage of the Arrest and Arraignment of Jose Martinez

WCBS-TV New York: Principal Arrested At Home On Long Island

Journal News: Former school administrator accused of sex with teen in New Rochelle

Wall Street Journal/AP: Former dean of NY school accused of sex with boy

Newsday: Brentwood man charged in sex offense

KTLA-TV: Principal Charged With Having Sex With Student Inside Office

AOL Patch: Former Jefferson School Administrator Faces Child Abuse Charge

WABC-TV New York: Principal arrested over alleged sex with student

WNBC-TV New York: Former New Rochelle Dean Charged With Sexual Abuse

64% of New Rochelle residents are "Furious".

WNBCPoll MartinezArrest

WPIX-New York: Principal Charged With Having Sex With Student Inside Office

FOX-NY: Former Dean of N.Y. School Accused of Sex with Boy

Former Dean of N.Y. School Accused of Sex with Boy: MyFoxNY.com

The Loop: Former New Rochelle School Leader Charged With Sexual Abuse

Journal News: New Rochelle school administrator accused of sexually abusing student, 14

News12 Westchester: Cops: Ex-assistant principal arrested for sexual contact with minor

Telemundo: Arrestaron director escolar por supuesto abuso sexual‎

Primicias: Profesor dominicano acusado de sexo en la escuela con estudiante de 14 año

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 10:00 AM

According to police sources, Martinez gave a partial confession which, combined with evidence supplied by the mother of the victim and statements by the victim formed the basis for the arrest of Martinez. During the interrogation, on four occasions, Martinez confessed to New Rochelle police investigators.

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 11:00 AM

Martinez illegally enrolled his Long Island nephew last year at Isaac E. Young Middle School with the full knowledge of Principal Anthony Bongo and Assistant Principal Towanda Robinson.

Martinez submitted his resignation to Principal Anthony Bongo last spring but the resignation was held by Bongo who sought to talk Martinez out of resigning. There was reportedly friction between Martinez and Towanda Robinson.

The Principal at Jefferson Elementary School received the resignation letter from Martinez on Monday morning, March 14th, but failed to inform City Hall of the letter for the better part of two days.

Although the Board of Education met on the evening of Tuesday, March 15th, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak failed to inform the full board of the Martinez resignation and disappearance.

Organisciak commissioned Bruce Daniele to conduct a private investigation into the disappearance of Martinez, there are multiple reports that Daniele was not at his post in the days the followed and further reports that this was due to Daniele searching for Martinez.

Multiple sources have confirmed that the victim's mother went to the Jefferson Elementary School prior to his resignation on March 13th. The parents considered Martinez a mentor to their son, know at the high school, but the parents were concerned about telephone calls going back and forth between Martinez and the victim. When the parent requested that Martinez notify the parents prior to calling their son, without disclosing the phone records, Martinez denied have the victims phone number. That set off a series of events, still unclear at this time, that led the mother to go to the New Rochelle Police on March 23rd. There are some indications that the mother went to police after growing frustrated with the failure of the district to respond to her concerns.

New Rochelle police detectives went to Isaac E. Young Middle School on Friday March 25th. In addition to video equipment, there are reports that detectives brought equipment used to test for DNA samples into Martinez' former office at Isaac E. Young Middle School.

There are reports that Martinez missed work in the Spring of 2010, at the time of the relationship with the victim, and that moving him to Jefferson Elementary School was part of a shell game.

There were three students last year, including the victim, that had "free reign" in Martinez' office at Isaac E. Young Middle School. The students would frequent Martinez' office, using his computer and hanging out, even when Martinez was not in the office.

Many, many reports coming in over concerns among Isaac E. Young Middle School staff that Martinez would pull down the shades to his office when meeting with boys, failing to discipline some boys, giving them things including money.

Martinez was picked up in Queens, not Long Island.

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 3:15 PM

The school district is communicating with parents at Jefferson and Isaac E. Young Middle School via Connect Ed, the district's password protected web site. There is word there will be meetings with parents at both schools to address concerns. The victim, along with half of the students at New Rochelle High School were exposed to Martinez during his four years at the middle school but there is no word of plans for school officials to meet with those students or parents.

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 4:00 PM

The time line and the facts in evidence are not adding up.

This is starting to sound a lot like the Oscar Licea, a student was slapped by a guard at Isaac E. Young Middle School and suspended. The mother of the victim in that case went to the police on three separate occasions but they refused to take her complaint and threatened her, telling her she could be sued if she made the complaint. A NRPD detective made a false statement about the case to the Journal News. Video tape of the incident went "missing".

...Immediately after the incident (the guard striking the child) the boy went to Mr. Jose Martinez, Administrative Dean at Isaac E. Young. Shortly after, Mr. Martinez was called to Mrs. Tawanda Robinson’s office, the Assistant Principal at Isaac E. Young Middle School. Sometime after, the boy reported to Mrs. Robinson’s office and was interviewed. After the interview, the child was sent to the nurse and provided with ice for his injuries. In the nurse’s office, the parent was contacted. The mother arrived at the school moments later. After a conversation between the school administration and the parent, the student was sent to the In-House Suspension room for the remainder of the day.

News12 Interviews New Rochelle Middle School Student about Alleged Abuse

The parent met with a Detective from the New Rochelle Police Department on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009. At the police station the parent was told that the injuries were not serious enough to constitute an assault. At best, under the Penal Law , injuries would be considered harassment. Finally, New Rochelle Police Department considered that the evidence against the Security Guard was insufficient to charge her of a crime. The family is considering seeking legal counsel at this time. We will have to wait and see what action the City School District of New Rochelle takes to address the situation.

In this current case, Martinez lawyer said that Martinez was asked to leave by administration.

School officials said they were surprised by the arrest and made various other statements to the effect that they did not know anything about Martinez resigning or why.

The New Rochelle police say that the mother of the victim made a formal complaint on March 23rd but that she had been to the police earlier in the month.

The mother came forward only after Martinez had resigned which only became public after a story on Talk of the Sound on March 18th which prompted a robo-call to parents at Jefferson Elementary School where Martinez was Assistant Principal but not to Isaac E. Young Middle School where he had served as Dean for four years and where the alleged crimes occurred.

The Journal News reported on a bizarre series of statements by school officials after Talk of the Sound broke the news that Martinez had resigned and disappeared.

Superintendent Richard Organisciak said the district asked "local law enforcement officials" for assistance. A sergeant at the New Rochelle Police Department said he was unaware that the department had been asked to take a role in finding Martinez.

"We're hoping there is not an untoward reason for why he might have gone missing," district spokesman Paul Costiglio said.

Costiglio said he did not know where Martinez lives.

Organisciak says he asked "local" law enforcement for help locating Martinez but does not explain why or on what authority considering that Martinez had resigned on March 13th. New Rochelle police tell the paper no one from the District contacted them.

Costiglio says the District does not know where Martinez lives. Martinez owned a home in Brentwood, NY on Long Island. The idea that the district did not know this is simply absurd but if this is the position of the district then Organisciak could not mean Brentwood/Islip police when he said "local authorities".

Very little of the district's account of the time line is making sense.

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 5:15 PM

The Anthony Bongo Era At New Rochelle's Isaac E. Young Middle School

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 7:45 PM

Anthony Bongo and Richard Organisciak Reach Out to New Rochelle's Isaac E. Young Staff in the Jose Martinez Aftermath

There will be staff meetings to discuss the arrest of Jose Martinez at Jefferson Elementary and Isaac E. Young Middle School. The IEYMS meeting is 8:10a. Unconfirmed report that Jefferson meeting is at 7:30a. Still looking for additional confirmations. No word on parent meetings.

UPDATE: Sunday March 27 10:25 PM

New Rochelle F.U.S.E. Union President Martin Daly Comments on Martinez Arrest

...Ignoring this sad event or trying to pretend it didn’t happen would be disingenuous on my part, but it is difficult to understand or even to acknowledge that one of our colleagues could do the things he stands accused of doing. I guess the first thing to be said is that an arrest is not a conviction, and Mr. Martinez should enjoy the same presumption of innocence that all other persons accused of wrongdoing enjoy. Nonetheless, these accusations, if proven true, will leave a young student with emotional scars that may never heal, a serious consequence that is painful to consider...

Read the entire statement here.

UPDATE: Monday March 28 1:25 PM

Bob Marrone, News Director of WVOX, has provided Talk of the Sound a full recording (7 minutes) of the NRPD Press Conference from Friday. Click the link to listen and read an unofficial transcript of the press conference.

Audio from New Rochelle Police Press Conference on Arrest of Jose Martinez Friday March 24, 2011

UPDATE: Monday March 28 5:15 PM

There is a meeting scheduled at Jefferson School at 6:30 PM. There are no meetings planned for Isaac E. Young Middle School where Martinez served for four years or New Rochelle High School despite the fact that the majority of kids who had Martinez as an administration are at the middle school or high school and not the elementary school where he only served for a few months. It appears the only meeting available for them is the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night at Albert Leonard Middle School.

UPDATE: Tuesday March 29 9:15 AM

Over 150 teachers, parents, school board members and school administrators attended a meeting at the Jefferson Elementary School on Monday night. Surrounded by Board of Education president Sara Richmond and Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak, Jefferson Principal Kim Nieves tried to put a brave face on a terrible situation. Remarks by those in attendances ran the gamut from wishing harm to Martinez, to feeling betrayed, to belief that the allegations against Martinez were based on lies and that he was innocent. Organisciak repeatedly sidestepped questions on the grounds that the questions about what Martinez did were police matters. When a frustrated parent asked. if this was the case, why the police were not present. Organisciak said it an oversight and that they would ask the police to attend a meeting at Isaac E. Young Middle School on Wednesday.

As is typically the case, the school district organized the event to create an "us v. them" environment, stocking the room with union members, administrators, board members and a few "ringers". Board members and administrators filled much of the first two rows. A large block of teachers sat together as a group on one side of the auditorium. When one parent rose to raise a particular set of concerns and got applause from other parents, another "ringer" parent would rise to make comments that were loudly and aggressively cheered by the union members. At times the meeting seemed like a pep rally.

The meeting became silent, however, as one mother talked with deep emotion about her struggles over the weekend to explain to her young child why Mr. Martinez would no longer be working at the school. She struck a chord with all present when she talked about feeling along, abandoned by the district, not getting information, not getting a script and not knowing how to deal with the situation.

WNBC-TV Channel 4 was on hand, they did a live shot on the Eleven O'Clock news from out front of Jefferson School.

UPDATE: Tuesday March 29 29 1:15 PM

Martinez appeared briefly in the New Rochelle City Court today before Judge Susan Kettner where his new attorney (waiting to get the name) asked for an adjournment until next week. Kettner granted the request, setting a date of April 4th and keeping the $500,000 bail in place.

Martinez' sister was in the court room but refused to answer any questions from the press.

Martinez was dressed in the same sweater top seen his mug shot photo.

After Martinez was led out of the courtroom, most of the 25 people inside left the building. There was a reporter from Channel 12 and the Journal News along with Talk of the Sound. Most of the people during Martinez court appearance were mothers and children who came to support Martinez, although one referred to him as "el diablo". One Martinez supporter said she was "100% behind Martinez" although she thought he would be convicted.

UPDATE: Tuesday March 29 29 5:25 PM

The Channel 12 News truck is out in front of Albert Leonard Middle School, the reporter is asking questions of people in anticipation of the Board of Education Meeting tonight. Big crowd expected at ALMS at 7:00 p.m.

UPDATE: Wednesday March 30, 7:29 AM

Jose Martinez Court Appearance Today in New Rochelle City Court

UPDATE: Thursday, March 31, 2:11 PM

Should Jefferson and Isaac Parents Trust Talk of the Sound as a Source of Information?

UPDATE: Monday, April 4, 3:10 PM

Robert Cox Remarks to Board of Education on Coverup Culture Which Bred Jose Martinez Predations in New Rochelle Schools

UPDATE:Friday April 15, 4:55 PM

Martinez Bail Reduction Denied in White Plains, Waives Appearance in New Rochelle

Developing...

There are 70 Comments

Why was no one from the school district at the press conference?? If i was a parent with kids in this school district i would be outraged. How are parents going to feel when they find out that this guy has been accused of this crime. What's the district going to send a note home with the kids? Heads must roll for this cover up. Why was the city mgr.there at press conf.where was our mayor?

Mayor Bramson only appears at press conferences that depict him in a affirmative light. He was up front at the unified press conference in response to the New Roc riot a couple of years ago and at the press conference to announce Forest City as the chosen developer for Echo Bay. There is no way he would be caught anywhere near this press conference especially in an election year. Besides, the census results are out so Bramson is probably huddled in a hideout with Klugman and Idoni devising a plan to screw the African Americans in District 3 again with redistricting.

It’s an absolute disgrace that there was no representative from the school district at the press conference. It is evident that they will dismiss this as another isolated incident but in reality this validates Bob Cox and the Talk Of The Sound website. Bob Cox, please continue to dig and overturn the rocks that cover the maggots hiding in the dark.

I can’t wait for the other shoe to drop (Fevang)

Multiple incidents where the NR school system buries its head in the sand and tries to cover everything up. This is really pathetic.

It sort of reminds me of the concluding scenes of 'Animal House' where an ROTC officer is trying to calm the situation down by saying everything is alright and calm down. The next thing you see is the crowd trampling him in the middle of a near-riot.

What got Richard Nixon out of office? Impeachment for covering up Watergate!!! Is the school system doing a repeat performance??? Stay tuned!!!

Where did this person work before 2007? Passing people from one school to another has been going on for years. Usually individuals who are giving the north end schools problems are put into the south end schools because the parents are usually intimated by the superintendent, principals, etc. It is time the PTA council took a stand and stop this practice. Why was the city manager at the conference, doesn't he have enough problems running the city. I guess any reason to be on TV.

“I told Mr. Bongo (Principal) and Mrs. Robinson(Assistant Principal) it did not look right.” Said an Isaac E. Young Middle School employee who asked to remain anonymous regarding the students being sent to Mr. Jose Martinez’ office with discipline referrals. The problem, the employee stated, was that students (particularly boys) were, at times, behind closed doors with Mr. Martinez, being rewarded with candy, pizza and money. The employee brought the concern to both Mr. Bongo and Mrs. Robinson two years ago and “they did nothing.” The employee fears school district retaliation if they step forward. The Isaac employee also said that others in the building saw the behavior.

How is it that "trained professionals" refused to act on some of the tips?

The predator begins by spending time building trust with the child. The predator’s behaviors are calculated and planned from the beginning of the relationship with the child and his/her family. Once the “friendship” is gained, the predator may show any or all of the following behaviors.

The abuser

•Tells the child that he/she would never do anything to harm him/her.

•Breaks down the child’s guard against inappropriate touching and sexual conduct.

•Threatens on occasion the victims and his/her family with harm.

•Engages the child in progressive discussions regarding sexual issues.

•Seeks out potential victims with family problems, poor peer relationships, and estrangement from parents.

•Seeks out potential victim on overnight trips, gives gifts, or focuses on the interests of potential victims.

•Prefers children as social companions rather than adult peers of his/her own age group.

Online predators use false information about themselves such as age, gender, lifestyle, personal background to lure unsuspecting children and youth. Due to the anonymity of the Internet, predators are provided with a better hiding place.

Taken from: 1/11/06 jss nurturing connections

The child predator could be anyone, anywhere.

We need to learn to look for more subtle clues and behaviors to identify these criminals. These clues will help alert us that a predator may be lurking in our midst. The following are behavioral patterns exhibited by predatory adults.

• Child predators are usually afraid of adult intimacy. They have poor interpersonal relationships with other adults. They are superficially pleasant and charming. But we don’t get a feeling of a sincere adult-to-adult level relationship with them. Their ulterior motive is to use us to get closer to our children.
• A Child predator often refuses to take responsibilities for his actions. If he has an antisocial personality, he will blame others for his shortcomings and failures. He gets upset easily. It is common during post-arrest interviews for them to blame the child by saying, “She was being seductive towards me,” or “He acted like he wanted me to touch him.”
• A child predator generally needs to control others. Many display strong narcissistic features and manipulate adults and children in order to gain power over them. When you’re around them you may feel the constant need to justify yourself, including justifying decisions you make regarding your child.
• Child predators typically have low self-esteem. Many have avoidant personalities and thus feel woefully inadequate and avoid adult social interactions. Being around children makes them feel needed and superior. They will want to spend time away from you, and with your child.
• Child predators are extremely manipulative. They may even feign having a mental illness, such as depression, in a bid to get the child, who wants to please adults, to help them. Be aware if your child begins a care-taking role with another adult.
• Child predators seek out children who are vulnerable. They seek out lonely children who are looking for adult caring. The predator works in stages to get the child to feel dependent on them. They mold the child into becoming a willing victim to the predator’s paraphilic behaviors.
Taken from: http://earisk.com/learning.php?35

http://jefferson.nred.org/site_admin_directory.aspx

If he resigned, why is his name on the school website? You would think that someone would take his name down. I guess if there has not been a Board resolution accepting his resignation, he is technically still a City School District of New Rochelle Assistant Principal. Let's see how long it takes these yahoos to figure this out. Dr. Coleman, let get to this please.

The school district took Mr. Martinez name down. They all come to Talk of the Sound to measure the temperature. Keep the conversation going. They read the site all the time.

Three years at Isaac E. Young? What is the City School District of New Rochelle doing to find other possible victims? What is the plan?

If he is a predator then there must be others correct?

Robert Cox's picture

...that is the expectation among senior leadership in the district.

its hard to believe that such a respected n well like man would do this. my oldest son went to isaac n my youngest is now at jefferson and throughout the years, i have seen mr. martinez and he was the sweetest man, always respectful n always smiling. my son thought he was fired from jefferson cuz he was always in the hallways lol.at the school's show, he knew all the songs and dance on the side and i joked that he might have a little sugar in his tank but could see the genuine love n caring interest in our kids, as we expect from our school officials....well i ask this, isnt he still persumed innocent until proven guility but how can a man recover after his face has been plastered all over the news, website n paper....so does his innocence matter now? will the media give him one minute of airtime if found innocent? i think we know the answer....thanks

Maddiee,

An innocent person generally does not walk away from their job (especially a coveted job as the one he held) and then go into hiding, avoiding any contact with their former employers. While I agree with you that you are innocent until proven guilty, the circumstances around his resignation speaks volumes. Certainly, School Officials did a horrible job of handling the whole situation (as usual).

I actually find it troubling that you would state that because he was always smiling and knew the words to the assembly songs, he deeply cared for children. If he deeply cared for children, he would have handled his resignation (if it was legitimate) differently and not left the school in a lurch with no AP.

He was nice..doesn't make him innocent. DNA doesn't lie..it's unfortunate but a pedefile will probably be once of the nicest people you meet! He also confessed before he plead not guilty. If he is innocent (which I highly doubt) your right he is done, named tarnished. But DNA DNA DNA...that it! Bottom line

My reaction to this story is one of disbelief. I first learned of it through a text message from my fiance. We have two children, one who attends Issac and the other Jefferson. We had NO IDEA that the AP had resigned (I guess we were not fortunate enough to receive the robo-call, but I'll talk about this later).

Why am I disgusted? Well, let's look at the facts here. An employee, who you've entrusted to help lead your school, suddenly resigns and no legitimate reason is given by the employee. Officially, the school district cites "personal reasons". Parents are not informed in a legitimate matter (a robo-call is ridiculous for a resignation). Certainly this warrants a backpacked letter that explains, at minimum, that the AP has resigned citing personal reasons. Not sending this letter is simply a slap in the face to us. I can not imagine that the flow of information would have been handled this way in one of the North schools.

Now, as the principal of the building or superintendent of the district, you MUST do some type of research to further investigate why such a sudden departure (not many people walk away from a 6 figure salary with excellent benefits) for "personal reasons". If there was even a hint of the rumors that have since come to light regarding this person's alleged behavior, further action should have been taken right then and there. Yet, 2 weeks go by and I had no idea he had even resigned.

Clearly, there appears to be information that was made available to school leaders at some point during this person's employment at Isaac that should have raised eyebrows at the very least. With this information certainly circulating, the question begs to be asked, HOW DID HE GET APPOINTED AS AN AP IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL? I will not speculate on this, but something certainly is not meshing here.

Another disgusting fact-- where were the representatives from NR Schools at the police press conference? How is it possible that the New Rochelle Superintendent of Schools is not there to address the public, which he is accountable to, regarding the circumstances of this man's sudden resignation? It's just unfathomable! Someone commented earlier that the former AP's name still appears on the school website. All of this, not sending a letter home, not appearing at the news conference, not taking his name off the website, are efforts to downplay the situation by the School District.

This website has done an excellent job of documenting the atrocities that the NR School District consistently commits. While I could go on and on regarding the waste of money in this district, and sadly, the poor instruction that occurs (folks, the level of instruction at Jefferson and Isaac is pathetic), I will comment another day on those issues.

For now, we need to rally together to ensure that this Superintendent resigns immediately and any school or district leader who had information that was not acted upon is also promptly removed.

The teachers around the school system were not told of the on going investigation.Instead they were brought into there lunch rooms,meeting rooms,and offices throughtout the school system and told that there is a problem at one of our schools with a teacher and no one is to comment on the matter.This happened at the beginning of the school day and by the midday today all hell broke lose.The teachers were getting calls from friends,family.and people that were concerned of the childs well being.The news broke first from this web site a week ago,then the journal news jumped in and after that all the media went on.WAKE up New Rochelle read all about here

How many people and now children have to be hurt before we as a community, North and South get together and put a stop to this.

The molestation of children cannot be undone and haunts the child into adulthood.

We must join together and fix this once and for all.

I can only imagine the horror NR parents are going through and the lasting damage done to innocents.

I believe in innocent until proven guilty but the facts that the person ran, and hid coupled with the coverup is almost too much to bear.

Who cares about the "marketing campaign" now.

Our children are at stake and we have to stop the madness and disfunction NOW!

For the community to find some relief, it's important that you take your questions to the Board of Education and the Superintendent. The next Board of Ed meeting is Tuesday March 29th at 7PM at Albert Leonard School. Come and bring your questions. Thank you.

At Isaac, Mr. Martinez was responsible for the discipline 700 to 800 (two grade levels) of the 1100 to 1200 students at Isaac E. Young Middle School. This is roughly two thirds of the students in the building. Mrs. Robinson the, Assistant Principal only worked with one grade level. Typically she chooses the least challenging one. In other words, the grade level with the least discipline problems. The Administrative Dean gets the other two.

Why was his student load so large? What does it say about the work ethic of the other administrators and the "dumping" of work? Can we ask the new person in the position what doe it feel like to work as the Administrative Dean? Why is this important?

Here we have a situation where we had a “confessed” (according to multiple sources) child predator that roamed the halls of two of our schools unchecked. Furthermore, he was handed over a huge “pool” of potential victims to choose from.

The failure to identify Jose Martinez as a dangerous child predator was due to incompetence, neglect, laziness and arrogance on the part of the City School District of New Rochelle’s Administration, building and central. Schools are infected with a culture that punishes those who come forward. The leadership believes that they are made out of Teflon. Up to this moment, they have been successful in not making anything stick.

The New Rochelle community has experienced arguably one of the most heinous violations any of our children could experience. This could have been prevented. The signs were there and people in the school saw them and reported them. Now, at least one child in our community was damaged for life in the one place he should have been safe; school. How low can we go before things change? What needs to happen before we wake up? When do we come to the realization that our schools are not the Disney World that the Board of Education and Richard Organisciak pretend they are?

I keep reading these comments and TV interviews with parents and students where people say they were suspicious of Jose Martinez from the time that he was working at Isaac Young. One 7th grader at Isaac indicated seeing him slap students on the butt and having his butt slapped as well, which is clearly inappropriate as an action by itself. Why didn't anyone voice their concern sooner?

It seems easy to place the blame on the school district, but there were enough witnesses who kept these early warning signs to themselves. Had the school district received reports of Mr. Martinez's suspicious behavior, they would have known to investigate it. He was placed through the same background checks that any other teacher or administrator in the district had gone though, so why would they be blamed for not having some sort of "sixth sense" that his clean background didn't fit him as a person. Parents and students have openly said they liked him - he was outgoing and friendly with them. Perhaps that is why his strange behaviors were overlooked and unreported. Take in mind that this course of abuse occurred LAST YEAR, and it was only THIS MONTH that the victim's mother came forward to report this crime. Without her report, no one would be the wiser - not even the bloggers on this Talk of the Sound site nor the district, its parents or students. Hindsight is 20/20. For those saying now that they knew all along, then take responsibility for having kept this quiet for so long. You should have filed a formal complaint, when it first occurred and kept making a stink about it until action was taken.

Cunning Monkey,

I don't think anyone on this site said "I knew it" and in the television reports I viewed, I only saw concerned parents who were in disbelief (a natural reaction if you ask me). The fingerprint clearance issue (where the district allowed him to work without receiving clearance from Albany), in all likelihood, would have had no bearing on this tragedy. I'm pretty sure he was cleared to work as I assume he was already a school employee somewhere in NYS prior to New Rochelle. The issue, it seems, is that no one in the BOE or district office bothered to call Albany to inquire as to why his prints were not returned. I know this because I handled this very simple task for a charter school in the city from 2006 to 2008. Results typically come back in 7 to 10 days (though they could take longer depending on the method of fingerprinting). We would absolutely not allow any prospective employee to start without clearance of their prints. Again, its a serious district flaw that has occured here, and it makes me question who else is working for this district without proper fingerprint checks. At the very least, the District should be able to provide a fingerprint clearance roster of every single BOE employee to help us ensure all employees, including security personnel, are cleared to work.

The point you are missing is that this school district constantly attempts to minimalize any negative occurence that takes place within its walls. I speak from personal experience as my family had its own issue with a school aide (in comparison to what is currently happening, it was very minor) that clearly would not have come to light if we didn't address it immediately. We never received a full explanation as to what remedies were put in place though the employee was given some sort of consequence.

There are claims that school leaders were made aware of some of the strange behaviors that this employee was allegedly doing. I can not imagine that the school leaders had any idea that this actually took place (at least I hope not!), but I'm quite confidant that "rumors", either amongst students or the staff themselves, may have come across their desks. The fact that the employee resigned without notice and disappeared should have been a clear, red flag to immediately act on this. Since the district has not been transparent on the circumstances around what "investigation" occured after his resignation, we have reason to speculate why there is such a lack of information.

This website has chronicled issue after issue regarding the actions of this school district. There is no transperancy in their actions. Combined with the ineptitude of budget planning and the underachieving academic performance of our students (and by "our students", I mean the South Side students where our needs are vastly different than the North Side), it is clearly apparent that change at the top must occur now.

I definitely think the BOE needs to improve, but my point is that no one could definitively tell this man was a pedophile in the absence of him either (1) doing this before and having been caught, or (2) having his current actions reported. There are just too many unanswered questions regarding this situation to conclusively place blame yet. Time will tell though, and we can only hope Mr. Martinez hasn't victimized even more kids. I'm glad the mother of this 14 year old boy came forward. I just wish this had come out sooner.

Robert Cox's picture

Monkey,

This site has reported that there were multiple complaints made by school staff to Principal Anthony Bongo and Asst. Principal Towanda Robinson over the past two years. If you are waiting for the school district to admit this you should be prepared for a long wait. They will never admit any wrong doing of any kind; they are far more likely to attack a victim and defend a perp. That has been school policy for many years.

Robert Cox's picture

"It seems easy to place the blame on the school district, but there were enough witnesses who kept these early warning signs to themselves. Had the school district received reports of Mr. Martinez's suspicious behavior, they would have known to investigate it."

From my reporting and comments on this web site it is apparent that on multiple occasions, Principal Anthony Bongo and Asst. Principal Towanda Robinson did receive complaints about Martinez going back two years. They refused to act on these complaints. I am now getting additional information that suggests that Bongo and Robinson were aware of Martinez interaction with the victim in this case and took steps to mitigate the damage, cover up what had happened and get him out of their school.

This site has documented a long list of serious deficiencies with Mr. Bongo's leadership at Isaac E. Young Middle. Anyone with the slightest familiarity with Bongo and, more broadly the culture that the district has fostered would know that coming forward with information about wrongdoing of any kind results in two outcomes -- circling the wagons to protect the wrongdoer and ostracizing the person who comes forward. The message is always clear in the New Rochelle school system when it comes to whistleblowers -- shut up or get out.

For you now to try to somehow blame people who knew but said nothing is a reflection of one of two things -- you are a shill for the school district or you have no knowledge of how the New Rochelle school district operates.

I have likened to white blood cells responding to an infection. You would think someone who harms children would be viewed as the infection but the track records is quite clear, that the offender is protected and the whistleblower is attacked.

Combine 2 New Rochelle schools and you have over 1,000 students and only 4 parents from New Rochelle came forward to voice their concern on Friday during the arraingment of Mr. Martinez!! Where was the Mayor? Where was the Superintendent? We need to take action and hold those accountable - if the statements are true about the schools knowledge. Rumors state Issac Young was notified on numerous occasions about Mr. Martinez - they chose to ignore the signs - they ignored all complaints and kept everything hidden. Also, background checks were rumored to be incomplete. This is extremely upsetting. Some of you wrote terrible things about this child - saying it may have been mutual - HOW DARE YOU! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!! Mr. Martinez is at fault here, not the child. Our children are most important and should be safe in our schools at all times. The truth will come out and anyone who has kept silent about these incidents and complaints made to Issac should come forward. Now is the time!

I love your post and I couldn't possibly agree more.

I agree with you, and you clearly have your inside sources and are more privvy to the inner workings of the school system. If, in the investigations that are sure to follow, it comes out that Anthony Bongo or any other administrator or district head engaged in covering this up, they played a part in this crime and deserve to sit in a jail cell just like Mr. Martinez. My point was that, in the years that this man was in the school system, this cannot be the first time that he acted inappropriately and turning a blind eye to these signs may have prevented this from coming to light sooner.

Robert Cox's picture

When we published our first story on the abrupt resignation and disappearance of Mr. Martinez and indicated there were allegations about him (without saying what we were hearing about child molestation), Talk of the Sound got a number of emails from parents defending Martinez, critical of this site. Few wrote back after the arrest but one did and wrote something I thought worth sharing so that perhaps the Board of Education can get in touch with how parents REALLY feel about Martinez.

Well, it looks like we were all betrayed by Mr. Martinez. Now he will have to pay for what he did and anyone else who knew about this as well. I have to say that this has been a very sad day. The saddest for the little boy and his family. Sad, also, because we trusted this man and liked him and singled him out as a point of reference and safe haven for our children. I told my son "If you ever need anything or anyone bothers you, go to Mr. Martinez". You can only imagine how I feel right now.

Even though we hear of stories like this all the time, when it touches you personally, the effect is quite different. It is, too say the least, a loss of innocence for me as a parent. If I was hesitant to trust anyone prior, my kids will certainly be that much more sheltered from outsiders. What a pity.

Thank you for your reporting.

You are blaming the principle and the AP. How about our lovely Mr. Korostoff who always busy and never responds to anyone’s phone calls. Very corruptive New Rochelle school district it needs to be changed. I saw your article on Isaac's standardized test scores the real corruption is going on as well at Albert Leonard. What a genius school with genius children! 91% of the kids over there are passing with a score above 85 on their living environment Regents. The fault is not only at Bongo and his AP, but at Korostoff and his corruptive DOE, including his secretaries who cover for him. How about we get news about how wonderful they are and how they should get a raise by cutting our children’s education funds. But your biggest concern is Bongo smoking??? Have you not smoked before or are you always perfect?

Robert Cox's picture

If you read my article on Bongo and his cigar smoking you will see that I not only do not fault him for smoking cigars but state that I too smoke cigars. Cigar smoking is not the issue. The issue is that not only smoking but even displaying smoking material on school grounds is a violation of New York State law. Bongo is the senior executive at the school responsible for enforcing state law so his violating state law is a big problem. He had already been directed by Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak to stop smoking and thumbed his nose at the administration. He later lied to WCHD investigators, claiming he never smoked on campaign. Violating state law, endangering the welfare of children, being insubordinate and lying to government investigators suggests a cavalier disregard for his responsibilities and a school principal.

I never remotely indicated that I considered Bongo's cigar smoking on school grounds to be my "biggest concern", far from it. I am more worried about staff assaulting students and phony test score data but you can try a straight line from Bongo's defiant attitude about the cigar smoking through all the rest of it and straight to Martinez. Bottom line is that he is not fit to hold ANY position in the district let alone principal.

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I have read some pretty compelling things on this blog, but my question is more of genuine curiosity: How can anyone prove that Bongo and Robinson knew these things (i.e. about the allegations against Martinez, etc.)? Aside from "he said, she said", is there any actual documentation that could serve as proof? Just saying, no one is going to knowingly incriminate themselves, especially if it means that they'd lose their 6-figure jobs and possibly face criminal charges. I'm not well-versed in penal code, but wouldn't knowing that a crime occurred and covering it up constitute obstruction of justice or acting as an accessory?

Jose Martinez may have some of the answers to your questions. It would serve justice if he would "sing."

It sounds like he started to "sing" already, but wouldn't that still just be heresay? Would it be admissible in court? The silver lining to this dark cloud is that he confessed. At least he did not try to uphold the appearance of innocence. I looked up that Class D felony on Wikipedia, and it looks like he'd only get 5-10 years for this. I cannot imagine him getting less than that.

I hope the victim and his family can heal from this, and the boy can go on to live a normal, adult life. Not to sound insensitive, but hurting people tend to hurt others and abuse cycles (the abused become abusers). I am sincerely hoping the victim can get counseling to help fully recover from this.

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If someone wants to dig deep, they can come up with numerous situations were the Board was notified of "inappropriate behavior" of their staff. How about a male security guard at the high school who was caught on video in the stairwell receiving oral sex from a student? OR a custodial employee who has countless complaints for 'innapropriate" comments to female staff? How does the district deal with this? They transfer the problem to another school.
Doesnt the Board realize that by keeping this stuff hush-hush instead of taking a firm stand on the issue makes them culpable?

The alleged accusations against martinez mirror the accusations against one Virgil D. Blake who held the exact position in Isaac in the 1970's. The only difference was he went after little girls.He too, liked to pull down his shade on his office door. Needless to say, he slipped quietly out the door.

I shutter to think of all the times Martinez chaperoned the overnight trips to Philadelphia or Washington!
The Board holds a serious responsibility to inform ALL the families of students that were under his guidance during his years at Isaac.
This should be approached from an informative manner, as opposed to a 'guilty as charged". We still have a "innocent until proven guilty" legal system in this country. Something ALL of us should keep in mind. However, if he is found guilty, I say OFF with his penis!!!

Yes, I'm new. The more allegations I'm hearing about the district makes me feel like I'm living in the middle of the "Enemy of the State" movie plot. I really hope that the other incidents of abuse you mentioned (security guard getting oral sex) aren't happening unreported. That is beyond terrible. I heard the middle and high school were rough, but I had no idea of all this. I thought "rough" was some allusion to the student population, not the staff and administrators. It can't be all of them though. There are teachers and staff in the district that genuinely care about the students and are just as shocked and outraged by all this as parents. Definitely a case of extremely bad apples reflecting poorly on the whole district. Hopefully, some positive change will come out of this tragedy.

The thing most unfortunate about the 'incidents' i wrote about is, in fact, they are REPORTED. REPORTED and nothing done about it.
And because there is something positive in everything, yes, you are right. There are a lot of teachers and staff who do care. The problem is that they are out numbered!
As far as the "bad apples", we know that no matter what is done there will always be these spoilers.BUT, you NEVER NEVER expect the bad apples to be the top seeds. There is no coming back from that unless you get rid of the whole crop!!!

I've been in New Rochelle long enough to remember a time when Isaac E. Young Middle School was a high regarded school. It didn't matter if you lived in the south end or the north end of New Rochelle for children to receive a sound middle school education. As a mother of young children who attend elementary school in New Rochelle, I feel deceived by the school system and outraged by they way children and families are treated in our own schools. What is even more disappointing is that the Board of Education is completely out of touch with reality and has failed to provide parents, families, community members and tax-payers with answers. Have they and school administrators forgotten who they really work for? I wonder what any of them would do if their own children were the ones being violated under the guardianship of a school? Mr. Martinez was allowed to commit these crimes during school hours, in a school building. Where were the Principal, Mr. Bongo, and the Assistant Principal, Mrs. Robinson? Where are they now? This all took place under their so called "leadership.” If they had knowledge or were made aware of Mr. Martinez’ display of any inappropriate behavior and did nothing to stop it, then they are just as guilty. It’s perfectly clear that they are unfit to run a school and being around our children, but the Board of Education can put a stop to this once and for all. The cover ups and mediocrity have to stop somewhere. Until then, they can rest assured that they have one less vote for this year's school budget. The way I see it, we have unfit adults running our school system, and our children and community at large should not have to pay for that.

Thanks for the comments, I agree 1000% and I only hope you remember your sentiments come election day and that goes for everyone out there.

Far too often these occurances are swept under the rug and yet we keep electing the same people to run our schools and I have to wonder if anyone out there is really paying attention.

Send a message in the district in May, don't vote for any board incumbants and vote NO on the budget, you'll be glad you did!

Let's just hope there are qualified candidates running, usually there aren't.

"I've been in New Rochelle long enough to remember a time when Isaac E. Young Middle School was a high regarded school. It didn't matter if you lived in the south end or the north end of New Rochelle for children to receive a sound middle school education".
Really?
I graduated from Isaac E. Young Junior High School, as it was then called, in 1967. I don't know where you get your information, but even then it was a nightmarish blackboard jungle. There were multiple fistfights every single day. You went to the filthy restrooms with the expectation that you would be hassled, at best. The teachers were, in general, dregs.
One music teacher's M.O. would be to play a 45 minute LP on the record player while he sat in front of the class, reading the newspaper.
One "science" teacher punched me so hard that I nearly fell over, for arguing with another student who was a member of the teacher's ethnic group.
Once, we traveled to Albert Leonard for a sports event, and I was absolutely stunned that such a wonderful school existed!
It seems that little has changed in all these decades.

There were the early and mid 1990s when Isaac E. Young was doing very well. This included a Blue Ribbon from the US Dept of ED for the 96-97 school year. To the extent that its Principal was promoted to Assistant Superintendent. Therefore, Isaac did enjoy a golden age, as brief as it may have been.

Unfortunately, it became a School in Need of Improvement shortly after.

WHY ISNT THE MEETING BEING TELEVISED???? The meeting from 3/22 being televised instead!!!!

It is very sad that people cannot come forward. I understand people do not want to lose their jobs or they have been advised not to speak. I think we should all remember that a child and his mother did come forward and have saved many young children from being hurt. It is awful that the superintendent has not been able to show concern and compassion for the parents and children in Jefferson and IEY Middle School. It is time that Richard Organisciak becomes a leader and realize parents, children and taxpayers want answers to their questions.

It's sad to see just how much Isaac is going down the tubes over the years. I am a graduate from the school, and when I worked in the building for a few years, to say I was in shock would be an under statement. It would blow your mind to see what goes on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the high school is no better, the schools are so corrupt,they need to just clean house, and hire new QUALIFIED people from outside the district.

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