A veteran special education teacher allegedly made a 9-year-old girl with autism inappropriately touch him while other students were in the classroom, law enforcement sources tell NBC New York.
Another adult at The Carl Ullman School in Oakland Gardens, Queens, witnessed Marc Scheibel grabbing the hand of the young student, who is non-verbal, and forced her to touch him. The witness recorded the incident on his or her cellphone and immediately reported it, the sources said.
The 48-year-old teacher was arrested at work on Wednesday after the school principal called police. He was charged with sex abuse of a child and acting in a manner injurious to a child, according to police.
Scheibel had been scheduled to appear in court Thursday, but was taken to a nearby hospital for unknown reasons. He has been teaching for nearly two decades and runs a special needs came at a local YMCA for 30 years, his attorney said.
The city blasted the allegations as "completely unacceptable" and "deeply disturbing."
“We immediately reassigned this teacher away from the classroom because of this deeply disturbing allegation. He will not have any interaction with students," a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Education told NBC New York.
The spokesperson also said Scheibel was not a PS 213 teacher and the case did not affect that school. There is another school within the PS 213 building, a district 75 school. Both schools sent letters home to families.
Police say an investigation is ongoing.
Scheibel is due in court on March 3rd, and bail was set at $5,000. He will be staying in protective custody because he won't be able to make bail, his attorney said, adding his client does not have a criminal record.