Former Queens Teacher Gets Prison, Probation After Pleading Guilty to Sexting With Student: DA

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NBC 4 New York

What to Know

  • An ex-math teacher at a NY middle school was sentenced to prison and probation after pleading guilty in connection to sexting with student
  • Michael Cognato, 35, pleaded guilty in March to attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and second-degree criminal contempt
  • Cognato, of Bethpage, Long Island, taught at Intermediate School 93 in Ridgewood,Queens

A former math teacher at a Queens middle school was sentenced to prison and 10 years probation after pleading guilty in connection to engaging in sexually explicit communications with a 15-year-old girl who was once his student, authorities say.

Michael Cognato, 35, pleaded guilty in March to attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and second-degree criminal contempt, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office. He was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and 10 years probation.

Cognato, of Bethpage, Long Island, taught at Intermediate School 93 in Ridgewood, Queens.

Between July 2017 and September 2017, Cognato “engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the victim and induced her to send him sexually explicit videos and photographs of herself,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says, adding that Cognato, also admitted to violating the order of protection by contacting the victim following his arrest.

As part of his plea agreement, Brown resigned from the New York City Department of Education, surrendered his New York State teaching license, must successfully complete a sex offender program and will be on the sex offender registry for life as a level two sex offender.

“He preyed on this young student whom he had once been entrusted to teach. This case should serve as a clear and unmistakable warning that parents must be mindful of the people their children communicate with online,” Brown said in a statement.

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