New Rochelle Police Arrest Elementary School Employee Following Complaint of Inappropriateness Behavior

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Raphael F. De Souza, 24, of 40 Locust Hill Avenue in Yonkers was arrested Thursday by New Rochelle Police on 2 counts of Forcible Touching, a class A misdemeanor. De Souza is a U.S. citizen.

De Souza was arrested after a complaint was filed earlier in the day by school officials. He was arraigned Friday and released on a $500 cash bond.

In a statement issued Friday, the City School District of New Rochelle disclosed they had reported to police “alleged inappropriate behavior” by an employee.

“I have visited the school to work with Principal Michael Galland in notifying the Columbus School community and I will stay apprised of the matter,” said Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Magda Parvey. “The safety of our students remains our top priority.”

The person, described only as an “hourly, part-time cleaner”, was suspended and has been banned from school grounds, according to a statement issued by the District.

“The school and the District responded immediately upon receiving a report of the behavior and contacted police right away.”

A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire;  or subjects another person to sexual contact for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire and with intent to degrade or abuse such other person while such other person is a passenger on a bus, train, or subway car operated by any transit agency, authority or company, public or private, whose operation is authorized by New York state or any of its political subdivisions. For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching.