A Long Island teacher was arrested Thursday after a former student came forward with a disturbing rape allegation dating back to 2013, when she was just 15 years old.
Timothy Harrison was arrested and charged with two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act for the incidents that police said occurred nine years ago, when Harrison was a 38-year-old Babylon School District teacher.
Harrison has not been in a classroom since November. He was being held overnight, and is expected to be arraigned Friday.
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The alleged victim in the case has not been identified due to the nature of the charges, but the Suffolk County police commissioner praised her for filing the report.
"I'd like to commend the victim in this case who has exhibited so much bravery coming forward years after she was preyed upon, the strength to come forward," said Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
Suffolk County Police said that the district contacted them in Oct. 2021 about allegations of misconduct by staff. The department and New York Attorney General Letitia James have launched separate investigations into the allegations after former students came forward with stories of abuse at a school board meeting and on social media in Nov. 2021.
Six educators were placed on leave in November after the misconduct allegations surfaced.
Police said that Thursday's arrest is the only criminal complaint thus far, but encouraged others to come forward as well.
Former Babylon High School student Brittany Rohl, who has been vocal about seeking justice from her own accused abuser, was "hopeful" after Thursday's charges were announced.
"It's the beginning of accountability. So I'm feeling hopeful about learning more about who knew what and when, and why it took so long," Rohl said.