Daily News/Chrisena Coleman

Gary Coleman, a 52 year old Bronx math teacher, paid at least two of his students $100 each forsexual favors and allowed them to skip classes so he could sexually abuse them. Coleman, who wasteaching grades 6 through 8 at IS 158 in the Melrose section, was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Courton charges of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded not guilty.The victims were ages 12, 13, and 14. He paid two of the boys on at least one occasion whileallegedly performing oral sex on them in a darkened classroom. He is also accused of writing notesto the boys' other teachers so they could be excused from classes while he allegedly molested them.The offenses, which included two counts of oral sodomy, occurred between December 1, 2002, and May31, 2003. Bail was set at $7,500 and Coleman was ordered to reappear in court on June 16.

Coleman maintained his innocence yesterday before he was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years inprison. He was found guilty of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of three youngboys.

(Bronx, New York)