School for kids with special needs failed to look at video capturing teacher’s sexual abuse: suit

Classroom cameras at a costly taxpayer-funded boarding school for autistic, mentally ill and emotionally disturbed students captured a biology teacher sexually abusing a boy – but no one monitored the video, a bombshell lawsuit alleges.

Only after the student told his mom that he had sex repeatedly with Sandy Carazas-Pinez, a teacher at Biondi High School, did the principal watch the video. It showed the instructor cuddling with the 16-year-old during class and asking him to “rub her crotch,” the suit by the boy and his mother charges.

“’What I just saw was disturbing,’” principal Marya Baker said, according to the boy’s mother.

“She was crying. She was so sorry — they should have been looking at the cameras,” the mom, a Staten Islander, told The Post.

In July 2023, Carazas-Pinez, 34, a married mother of three who formerly taught in two city public schools, was charged criminally in Manhattan federal court with luring the teen into a sexual relationship and convincing him to appear with her on an X-rated livestream video call.

For three years, from 2020 to 2023, the NYC Department of Education, which is not named in the suit, paid Biondi for the boy’s tuition, room and board, psychological treatment, and 24-hour supervision.

The cost likely exceeded $100,000 a year, say education advocates who place DOE students with special needs in private schools funded by the city and state.

Among her many texts to the teen, the lawsuit states, Carazas-Pinez wrote, “I love that you were holding and hugging me in school,” and “I call you crazy when you try to finger me in class.” 

The suit alleges other major failures as well.

Sandy Carazas-Pinez, a mom of three and ex-NYC public school teacher, is jailed on sex abuses charges. FaceBook Sandy Carazas-Pinez

The school let the youth leave campus for hours at a time on a “day pass” without his mother’s permission. On dozens of outings, Carazas-Pinez met the boy at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts and they had sex in her car, the lawsuit says.

Carazas-Pinez sent the boy nude photographs of herself and lewd text messages – including one saying she was “sore” after he gave her a “workout,” records show.

When the youth tried to stop the sexual activity, the suit says, Carazas-Pinez threatened to fail him in class or kill herself, which traumatized the teen, a schizophrenic who had attempted suicide.

“Had the school followed even their own most basic safety protocols, they could have prevented the horrific, repeated and ongoing abuse that had occurred under their own roof,” said lawyer Leslie Brovner, who filed the suit with Mark Peters, a former commissioner of the city Department of Investigation.

Several months after Carazas-Pinez was arrested in 2023, the Biondi School permanently closed because it “was not financially viable,” said Jennifer Scott, a spokeswoman for Rising Ground, Inc., the Brooklyn non-profit that ran Biondi.

Connecticut-based iPark purchased the 28-acre campus for $52.6 million and plans to use the site for film studios and a performing arts school.

The Biondi scandal is a black eye for Rising Ground, which has collected $374 million in NYC funds for various services since 2018, records show.

The institution, which fired Carazas-Pinez after discovering her misconduct, declined to comment on the suit.

The disgraced teacher was jailed this month after a judge found she violated her bail conditions while staying with her parents in Staten Island.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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