Preyed on him and tried to destroy him,’ judge says in sentencing ex-principal who seduced 13-year-old, had 9-year affair with him and tried to destroy his career as a cop when he tried to break it off
THE MANIPULATIVE and vindictive headmistress of an exclusive Manhattan prep school finally accepted reality Monday, surrendering to authorities and beginning a two-to-seven-year prison term for bedding one of her 13-year-old students.
Lina Sinha, 46, the former principal of Montessori School of New York International, was found guilty of the crime five years ago, but has stayed out of the pokey with a wide variety of appeals.
And while her lawyers toiled, Sinha relaxed, even bragging on her website, http://www.linasinha.com, about her tennis matches, her philanthropic work and even her marathon training regiment.
On Monday, with all her appeals exhausted, her lawyer Jerry Shargel pleaded with Judge Carol Berkman to reconsider her sentence because the charges were “exaggerated.”
“There was a love affair that continued for nine years,” he said. “You heard the victim say [at trial] that he enjoyed the relationship. He found the relationship pleasurable.”
But Berkman said she would not reconsider her original sentence.
She recalled the victim testifying that he was going through a very difficult period at the time of the abuse because his parents were separating.
“She hijacked his life as a child,” said the judge. “The defendant is a woman with every advantage who preyed on the victim for years, and she did try to destroy him.”
Sinha was a teacher in 1996 at the Montessori School on E. 55th St. that her parents owned and operated when she first had oral sex with a 13-year-old boy.
She continued to sexually abuse the underage boy throughout his middle school and high school career — and even “manipulated his mind, his body and his judgment for her own sexual purposes,” said Assistant District Attorney Robert Hettleman.
Sinha was convicted of having oral sex with him and another youth, and bribery in April 2007, and sentenced to four to 14 years, but prosecutors failed to turn over crucial e-mails, so the verdict was overturned.
The first victim went on to become a city cop and tried to free himself from her psychological control, but she unleashed a vindictive plot to ruin his career, making false claims to his NYPD superiors and filing false claims against him with the Civil Complaint Review Board.
She even adopted an assumed name to accuse him of raping another woman and then accused him of raping her.
In the meantime, she had begun abusing another student, a 12-year-old boy, at the tony prep school where she was now the principal.
“If every situation of love gone wrong and retaliatory behavior were prosecuted, they’d have to build new prisons,” her lawyer argued in trying to get her sentence reduced.
Before she surrendered, Sinha wept as she told the judge of the damage that the 2007 trial had done to her and her family financially and emotionally.
“This has been a very difficult time for, not only me, but my family, my friends, my colleagues and past students,” said the Columbia University-educated Sinha, whose parents own three Montessori schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. She said the legal fees have exhausted all her and her parents’ savings.
Source: New York Daily News