The principal of Freeport’s J.W. Dodd Middle School was accused Wednesday of having sex with a teenage boy who was once enrolled at the school.
Nassau County police arrested John O’Mard at his Freeport home and charged him with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual act. Bail was set at $10,000 bond and $5,000 cash at his arraignment.
Investigators said the principal engaged in “sexual acts” with the then-16-year-old victim after they met through Grindr, a smartphone dating application for men. The two used the app to chat and discuss where they would meet, Det. Sgt. Carlo Maltempi of the Special Victims Squad, said at a press conference.
O’Mard picked up the teenager at the meeting spot and then allegedly drove him to his Freeport house where the sexual act occurred, police said.
There was “no force,” Maltempi said, adding that “there were other factors” that led to the sexual encounter. He didn’t elaborate.
Though the alleged incident occurred in September 2012, it wasn’t until Friday that police began their investigation. One of the teenager’s friends heard of the encounter and alerted Freeport school officials last week, Maltempi said.
Investigators said O’Mard served as the middle school’s principal for approximately 10 years and an educator for 15. The victim, now 17, was enrolled in the school while O’Mard was principal but it wasn’t until “shortly after they met that he realized that it was his ex-principal,” Maltempi said.
Freeport School District Superintendent Dr. Kishore Kunchman released a statement on the district’s website notifying parents that school officials are aware of the investigation. Without identifying Omard by name, Kunchman said the “individual has been administratively reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation currently being conducted by law enforcement authorities.”
“The district will continue to cooperate with law enforcement during their investigation,” Kunchman added. “As this is a personnel matter, the district is legally prohibited from discussing any specifics regarding this individual and the police investigation.”
Former Assistant Principal Robert Micucci, who had been with the district for 36 years before retiring in 2011, will take over in the interim, the district said.
O’Mard’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment. He is due back in court March 25.
Nassau police asked that anyone who feels they may have been a victim call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.