Today’s news:

Teacher in LIC sexually abused student: Brown

LONG ISLAND CITY — After a 16-year-old girl sought out a school guidance counselor, police arrested and charged a 58-year-old teacher at Aviation Career & Technical High School in Long Island City with sexually abusing the teen, the Queens district attorney’s office said Monday.

George Zola, a resident of Valley Stream, L.I., who had taught at the 45-30 36th St. school for 22 years, allegedly abused a 16-year-old student on multiple occasions at the school from Dec. 1, 2008, to Jan. 22, 2009, the DA said. Zola allegedly inappropriately touched the student’s breasts, buttocks and vagina over and under her clothes, the DA said. He also allegedly rubbed his body against hers or forced her to touch him, the DA said.

Zola also allegedly said to the student, “This is how it’s gonna be,” during one of these incidents, the DA said.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged abuse when the student confided in a school guidance counselor in June.

“The charges are disturbing on so many levels,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “As a teacher and an adult, the defendant was in a position of power and had no business engaging in inappropriate contact with one of his students. Such conduct cannot go unpunished.”

Zola has been charged with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, crimes which allegedly occurred at the school between December 2008 and January 2009, the DA said. He is currently awaiting arraignment and faces up to four years in prison if found guilty, the Queens DA said.

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