New Rochelle Police Destroy Records in Child Pornography Case at Albert Leonard Middle School

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Talk of the Sound has obtained police records, which show that New Rochelle police failed to fully investigate a report of child of pornography involving students from the Albert Leonard Middle School, failed to follow leads in the case which suggest the images was received and transmitted by adults and destroyed evidence in the case the returned the cell phone used to take nude photo of a child to its owner, minus the nude photo.

According to an incident report filed by Detective Ray Andolina, the youth officer for the New Rochelle Police Department, the incident first came to light on December 10, 2008 when a 14 year old student at Albert Leonard Middle School informed school principal William Evans of a nude photo being circulated via cell phone for over a week among students at Albert Leonard Middle School and New Rochelle High School. Sources tell Talk of the Sound this is the same full frontal nude photo of a 7th grade student which was obtained and distributed by a security guard at Albert Leonard and distributed to other district staff throughout the district including security guards and other staff at Isaac E. Young Middle School.

The 7th grade girl in the photo has since relocated to New Jersey. Her 14-year-old boyfriend took the photo.

The incident report indicates that New Rochelle police failed to seek outside assistance to analyze the image and the cell phone despite the department’s lack of qualified personnel to perform such analysis. A knowledgeable source, familiar with the capabilities of the New Rochelle Police Department, tells Talk of the Sound that the department has no officers qualified to perform a forensic examination of electronic image, cell phones or computers. The report does not indicate any effort was made to obtain or review billing records or log files from the phone company, which would permit investigators to track the transmission of the image via text message or email.

The detective in charge of the case concluded that there were no other persons involved in taking the photograph and that there was no indication that any other persons had received the photo despite a statement by Principal Evans that he had received information that the photo had been circulated for “at least a week” at Albert Leonard Middle School and New Rochelle High School where a large percentage of the students are over the age of 16 and could be tried as adults. Some students at New Rochelle High School are over 18 and are legal adults.

Despite the failure to perform even a cursory forensic examination of the phone, the failure to obtain and use phone company records to track the distribution of the image and the information provided by Principal Evans that the image had been widely shared electronically for a week, the New Rochelle police concluded that “no suspects or crime can be determined”. The case was closed, the evidence destroyed and the cell phone returned to the 14-year-old boy who police say took the photo.

The report goes on to say that Principal Evans was advised of the results of the investigation and asked to contact Detective Anoldina in the event further information became available. There is no indication from police or school records that Evans or any other school officials contacted the New Rochelle Police Department when the District first learned of the involvement of a school security guard at Albert Leonard.

The New Rochelle Police Department has since been made aware that the same images was obtained and distributed by an adult security guard to other adults working for the school district but, so far, failed to reopen the investigation which would likely be made more difficult since evidence has been destroyed and the cell phone originally used to take the nude photo of a child has been returned to its owner.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

iheartnewro on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 21:31

What happened at Isaac Young Middle School today?

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 21:53

Is this a rhetorical question because I have no idea what you are talking about.

iheartnewro on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 22:07

No. I was wondering if anyone knows what happened at Isaac and the surrounding neighborhood today? Around 1 p.m. there were some police cars. I heard this from a couple of parents at dismissal today.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 02:48

Principal Bill Evans contacted NRPD on 12/10/08 to report what he described as "possible child pornography" as a result of which NRPD reported obtaining a cell phone of a 14 year old boy which contained a full frontal nude photo of a 14 year old girl. So, this IS a case of child pornography as indicated by the incident report which is a public record and can be obtained any work day by paying NRPD 50 cents. If you want the facts in writing I have just provided you clear instructions on how to get them.

Personally, I am not interested in seeing 14 year old kids prosecuted for being stupid. What I am interested in his understanding why NRPD failed to obtain phone records and conduct a full forensic investigation of what happened to that image after it left the kid's phone. Their own report says the image was going all over the place for a week including the high school which presupposes the image was obtained and possibly transmitted by adults. The NRPD does not have a single officer who is trained to conduct this sort of investigation yet Detective Andolina wrote a report claiming there was no evidence of a crime. Wrong answer.

More to the point, the incident report described in this post is NOT the report I was seeking when I filed my Freedom of Information request with NRPD. I was seeking to determine whether anyone at the school district had reported the ADULT security guard was transmitting the photo to OTHER ADULTS.

I am VERY interested in seeing adults prosecuted for possession and distribution of child pornography and endangering the welfare of a child and I certainly want to make sure that ANY adult involved is never allowed to work for the New Rochelle school district or otherwise permitted to be placed in a position of authority over children.

The DA is aware of the incident involving the adult security guard. They have the name of the guard and have contacted the school district but the DA"s office has told me just today that they consider this a decision that has to be made by the school district. I am not a lawyer so I have no clue why it is up to the same people who have been covering up this matter for 5 months whether to file a complaint (seems to me they have had their chance).

I have already called and emailed Superintendent Richard Organisciak about this matter but he has refused to respond. Perhaps TOS readers will have better luck than I have. Maybe a few folks will decide that the school district should spend more time worrying about keeping purveyors of child pornography out of our schools then worrying about political pressure from the teachers union and other outside pressure groups.

If you want to call Richard Organisciak he can be reached at (914) 576-4300. Tell him I said "hello"! :-)

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 01:30

Before running stories like this I contact the school district to give them an opportunity to respond. They did not. More to the point they did not refute, correct or deny the story. They cannot because the story is correct. Their hope is always the same - stick your head in the sand and hope the whole thing goes away.

The Journal News and Channel 12 News know about this story. In my book, Channel 12 News has done a good job covering New Rochelle (they could do a lot more) and they have picked up two of our stories (book censorship, the kid with two broken arms). Journal News is, of course, pathetic.

Now, to your point about national news. You will be happy to know that Fox News is working on the story. Richard Organisciak and Detective Andolina got calls from FNC producers last week. Organisciak has decided that he is not going to return their phone call until after the budget vote on Tuesday.

Apparently, he is under the delusion that all media outlets like the Journal News and that HE can dictate whether and when a story runs. He is about to be disabused of this notion because in less than 48 hours this story is going national whether he returns their call or not.

As the story unfolds it will become increasingly clear why the various players in this little drama do not want to pursue the matter.

To get a clear sense of why just imagine what happens when a person with many family members and other friends and contacts working within the school district and elsewhere in the City government starts forwarding around a pornographic image of a child and then they forward it to their friends and those people forward it to their friends. Now imagine that anyone who received that photo and then forwarded it would be looking at charges such as possession and distribution of child pornography and endangering the welfare of a child. Anyone convicted on the child pornography charge would become a registered sex offender. Depending on prior history some of the people involved would go to jail, many would lose their jobs and their pensions. Too many people have too much at stake. As will become evident, the District is about protecting the interest of adults AT THE EXPENSE of children.

Again Deidre Polow who is up for election on Tuesday has known about this matter since January and never lifted a figure to report the matter to NRPD or the DA.

Did anyone see that story last week of a guy in Yonkers who was arrested at the YMCA for having child pornography on his computer? I do not recall any mention of the children in the photos having had to file a complaint with law enforcement before he could be arrested. So, why this sudden delicacy in this case? Why on earth would the DA or NRPD require that the school district file the complaint?

As for the parents, there are MANY parents who can tell you what it is like to try and bring forward any sorts of charges against the school district. The powers that be make it VERY difficult. The District, as a matter of policy, does not report incidents to the police (which makes the actions of Bill Evans, to his credit, notable in that he has called the cops twice so far this year -- for drugs and child porn).

In the case we reported just a few weeks about another guard who assaulted a child at Isaac E. Young Middle School, the mother went to the police station THREE TIMES to file a complaint and was "rebuffed" each time. She was told that if she filed charges the guard could sue her. The police were spreading false and defamatory statements about the child, claiming that he was a gang member. The police gave false statements to the Journal News and the Journal News happily ran a single-source story exonerating the district and claiming the guard has been "cleared" by NRPD even though the mother never filed a complaint (despite her best efforts). As is typical, the Journal News ran the story without ever once bothering to contact the family of the boy who had been assaulted. Funny how NRPD can clear a security guard when the mother does not make a complaint but no one can do anything about child porn because the mother of that child does not file a complaint.

You want to understand why parents are relucatnt to come forward in cases like these? Ask the girl who alleged she was raped by an NRPD Sergeant.

By the way the detective in the case where the guard was "cleared" of assaulting the boy at Isaac, was also Ray Andolina, the youth officer for NRPD. If you pay attention, you might start to see a pattern between "investigations" by Detective Andolina and cases the school district does not like going away. You might then notice where the District hires its top security staff for which they are paid a very nice salary with benefits and a pension.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 16:55

Why would you single out Mr. Sanchez when the entire school board and the administration of the school district knew? Shouldn't we demand that all of them explain what they knew and when?

Anyone who has spent any time at school board meeting knows what the response will be: because of "privacy laws" they are not allowed to discuss personnel matters. These laws are just like the "labor laws" that supposedly prevent the district from discussing union negotiations (except with the Journal News, apparently there is some loop hold that allows Organisciak to talk about this with Aman Ali).

Since when does a criminal's right to privacy supersede the need to protect our children from sexual predators?

I want to know who knew what when but for right now I want to know why the District has not filed a complaint with law enforcement about the security guard? Anyone else want to know the answer to THAT question?

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 16:56

My child IS in a school with that environment which is one reason why I am so concerned.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sun, 05/17/2009 - 21:04

The DA has the case. For reasons I cannot fathom they are discussing with the district whether the District wishes to file a complaint. The DA is saying they will only go forward if the New Rochelle School District or the girl in the photo (or her parents) file a complaint. As the District has spent more than five months covering this up we already know THEIR answer -- they want it to just go away.

The only way that is going to change is if enough people push back and DEMAND that the District file a complaint against the school security guard.

Oh, any by the way....yes, Deidre Polow has known about this since January and gone along with the board's plan to put their collective heads in the sand and hope it all goes away.

Ilovenr2 on Sun, 05/17/2009 - 20:55

I would like to know, what happens NOW? What is New Rochelle Police Department going to do about this? Are they going to make it right?

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