New York City public school teacher Melissa Rockensies, 32, of Cheryl Road in Massapequa, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Aug. 22 on a complaint charging her with rape in the second and third degrees, criminal sexual act in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child
Rockensies was arraigned before Queens Criminal Judge Anthony Battistti just hours after she was arrested and booked at the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills.
According to the charges, between July 1, 2022, and Aug. 31, 2022, Rockensies was the dean at the Corona Arts & Science Academy and one of the victim’s summer school teachers and counselors. Beginning in July 2022, Rockensies engaged the 14-year-old victim in sexually related conversations via social media. In September 2022, Rockensies allegedly began to meet with the victim on a regular basis inside her vehicle near the school, where she engaged him in sexual activity. The investigation revealed social media messages between Rockensies and the victim that discussed the sexual relationship.
“These disturbing allegations represent an abuse of authority and a betrayal of the trust students and parents place in their schools,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “On behalf of the victim and his family, and the overwhelming majority of teachers committed to the education and well-being of our children, we will seek to achieve justice in this case.”
Judge Anthony Battisti ordered the defendant to return to court on November 24. If convicted, Rockensies faces up to seven years in prison.
The city Department of Education said Rockensies is no longer working at the Corona Arts & Science Academy .
“This alleged behavior is extremely concerning and wholly unacceptable,” DOE spokeswoman Jenna Lyle said. “This employee has been reassigned away from the school and students pending the outcome of the arrest and if convicted, we will pursue termination. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students.”