A man who used to teach math, physics, and aeronautics at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York pleaded guilty on December 22 to several crimes in connection with his abuse of seven female students at the elite school and will serve five years in prison, the New York Times reports.
Sean Shaynak, 45, was accused of engaging in improper relationships with several female students who were between 14 and 18 years old when their relationships began. The first reportedly was with a 16-year-old student to whom Mr Shaynak had sent photos of his genitals via Snapchat. She told her father, who then notified federal authorities.
Students at the school were split over this case when it first came to light in October 2014, with some students saying Mr Shanak, or “Shay-Shay” as he liked them to call him, was innocent and others acknowledging that he would occasionally become “too close” to his students. He was dismissed from the school shortly after the accusations were made.
Upon further investigation of the his digital life, authorities found evidence of relationships with seven girls, but many of them eventually refused to cooperate with the investigation, saying many of the people close to them didn’t even know about the relationships or how close they had grown to their teacher.
Mr Shaynak allegedly had sex with two of the seven girls, although that sex took place after the girls had turned 17, the legal age of consent in New York.
Charges filed against him included second-degree kidnapping, a Class B violent violent felony, to which Mr Shaynak pleaded guilty. He admitted transporting a student, 15, across state lines to a nude beach in New Jersey. He will have to register as a sex offender wherever he lives long after he finishes serving his sentence.
“This guilty plea spares the young victims from having to testify publicly at trial and in graphic detail. In addition to five years in prison, the defendant is now a violent predicate felon who must register as a sex offender and will never be allowed to teach again,” Oren Yaniv, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, said in a statement.