Alexandra Culhane, a teacher’s aide at The School at Northeast in Schenectady, New York, has been arrested for allegedly sexually molesting a 15-year-old special needs student at a public park. Culhane has been charged with rape and committing a felony criminal sex act.
The upstate New York teacher’s aide was arrested on Monday. According to the prosecuting attorney, John Carson, Alexandra Culhane had both sexual intercourse and oral sex with the teenage special needs student at the Schenectady Central Park last April. Her arrest occurred only after months spent investigating the tips share with New York police officials by her colleagues at the school for special needs children.
Rape allegations against Culhane, 24, first surfaced after some of her peers allegedly found out about the sexual contact with the 15-year-old special needs student, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union.
Evidence of the alleged rape was gathered by both the Schenectady Police Department and the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Disabilities. Alexandra Culhane allegedly came into contact with the male victim because he was a student at the high school.
The School at Northeast serves special needs students in grades six through 12 and is operated by the Northern Rivers Family of Services, the Daily Mail reports. Culhane was also the JV girls’ field hockey coach at her alma mater, Scotia-Glenville High School.
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Administrators at The School at Northeast said Alexandra Culhane was a seasonal employee and not a full-time member of the staff at the special needs educational center. No prior complaints about Culhane’s conduct had reportedly been received by school officials.
Before being hired as a teacher’s aide at the special needs school, Alexandra Culhane worked as an activities assistant at Saint Peter’s Health Partners’ Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center.
Culhane’s arrest comes on the heels of another staff member being charged with a crime. A teacher from The School at Northeast now faces charges related to the alleged assault of a special needs student in a school hallway.
Alexandra Culhane has been released from jail pending her arraignment. The rape and felony sexual act trial is slated to begin on July 3.
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