A former Indian-American principal of a New York Montessori school has surrendered to authorities to begin a two-to-seven-year prison term for sex with one of her 13-year-old students.
Lina Sinha, 46, was found guilty of the crime five years ago, but had stayed out of the jail with a wide variety of appeals, according to the New York Daily News. With all her appeals exhausted, her lawyer Jerry Shargel Monday pleaded with Judge Carol Berkman to reconsider her sentence because the charges were "exaggerated."
"There was a love affair that continued for nine years," he was quoted as saying. "You heard the victim say (at trial) that he enjoyed the relationship. He found the relationship pleasurable."
But the judge declined to reconsider her original sentence recalling the victim's testimony that he was going through a very difficult period at the time of the abuse because his parents were separating.
"She hijacked his life as a child," the judge said as cited by the Daily News. "The defendant is a woman with every advantage who preyed on the victim for years, and she did try to destroy him."
Sinha, who was a teacher at the school owned and operated by her parents, first had oral sex with a 13-year-old boy in 1996. She continued to sexually abuse the underage boy throughout his middle school and high school career - and even "manipulated his mind, his body and his judgment for her own sexual purposes," said Assistant District Attorney Robert Hettleman.
Sinha was convicted of having oral sex with him and another youth, and bribery in April 2007, and sentenced to four to 14 years.