Parents and students at I.S. 59 in Jamaica, Queens were shocked to learn that longtime music teacher Vaughn McKinney was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with an underage girl.
Investigators say McKinney met the girl through his wife, who directs the East Flatbush Ecumenical Choir, and that the alleged victim was not a student of his.
According to a report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation, McKinney began having sex with the girl when she was 16. Investigators allege that McKinney had sex with the girl more than a dozen times in 2011 and that the first encounter was in March of that year, when McKinney's wife traveled out of town for a religious retreat.
Many of the encounters took place in the basement of the home that McKinney shares with his wife, investigators said. McKinney allegedly bought the girl an iPhone, paid her monthly bills, and bought her clothing and shoes.
The relationship was discovered in November of 2011, when the girl told her pastor at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church, investigators said. But it wasn't until March 2012 that the girls' mother reported it.
McKinney had worked at I.S. 59 full time as a music teacher since 2002. According to the Department of Education, McKinney was suspended from his job in June of last year, once the department learned he was under investigation. At this point investigators don't believe there are other victims.
Attempts to contact McKinney for comment were unsuccessful and information on an attorney for McKinney was not immediately available.