Juan Taveras, a 40 year old assistant principal at Norman Thomas High School in Murray Hill, was being held on $10,000 bail on July 29, 2004, on charges he sexually abused two teenaged boys.  He pleaded not guilty to the charges of sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child during a hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court.

Taveras jumped bail and fled the country as more charges stacked up against him.  He is believed to be hiding out in his native Dominical Republic.  He is charged in a 134-count indictment unsealed August 24 with sexually abusing seven boys, all 17 or under, while they were students at the school or participants in a summer youth employment program.  The indictment also charges him with falsifying business records for allegedly continuing to pay the job-program students although they stopped showing up for work after being molested.  He was initially charged with abusing the two boys but a third came forward days later, and four more boys followed.  Taveras is also accused of witness tampering for allegedly trying to persuade some of the victims not to cooperate with authorities.  He allegedly fondled, groped and sodomized the boys.  

It was reported February 16, 2005 that Taveras was living in an apartment building with a day care center on its ground floor when he was nabbed in the Dominican Republic.  He was picked up in Santiago on February 12 by a contingent of NYPD detectives and US Marshals task force after jumping bail last summer. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Taveras sobbed his way through his sentencing yesterday, as an angry judge put him away for four to 12 years.

(New York)