A former Queens computer teacher will lose his teaching certificate after pleading guilty to charges that he inappropriately touched one of his elementary school students and endangered three others.
Before his arrest in February 2012, Wilbert Cortez was a teacher at P.S. 174 in Rego Park.
As part of a plea deal that lets him avoid jail, Cortez admitted to first-degree sex abuse charges against him for one of the victims. He is facing 10 year probation. During this time he must undergo sex offender counseling and register as a sex offender, said the DA’s office.
"The horrifying memories of sexual assault often follow a student into adulthood and prevent a student from forming healthy relationships with others. They are afraid to come forward, and often afraid of the legal process. We want people to know we never judge and we will do our best to help make the process of filing a suit as painless as possible to help you get the compensation and closure you deserve." -Neal Goldstein, Senior Partner Goldstein & Bashner
The Department of Education said that Cortez, who first began working at city schools in 1986, has not been on DOE payroll since 2012.
In 2000, Cortez was also disciplined for inappropriately touching two students at P.S. 184 in Brownsville, Brooklyn.