Indian American school principal convicted for illicit sex

Updated on Mar 30, 2007 03:33 PM IST
Lina Sinha has been accused of having sexual relations with two students.
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IANS | By, New York

A former Indian American principal of an exclusive private Manhattan Montessori school, accused of having sexual relations with two teen male students, was convicted on Thursday.

Lina Sinha, 40, faces up to seven years in prison.

The key witnesses against Sinha were the two students she was accused of seducing, the first student in June 1996, when he was 13 and is now a 24-year-old police officer, and the second in January 2001 when he was 12 and a seventh grader. He said he had sex with Sinha at least six times.

The jury raised Sinha's bail to $3.5 million from $50,000 and the court-scheduled sentencing for April 19.

Prosecutors told court that Sinha "wooed" both boys, softening them up with kisses and hugs before daring them to have sex, promising to name her children after them and telling them that she loved them.

The police officer testified that Sinha treated him to sexual intercourse as a 15th birthday present, according to the New York Times.

Sinha was first arrested in May 2006.

During the course of the investigation prosecutors said Sinha tried to bribe one of the youth to lie to investigators by buying him sneakers and a prepaid telephone and by giving him $400 cash.

Present at the court yesterday were Sinha's family including her mother, father, sister and an aunt.

Sinha has been a teacher for 16 years at the Montessori International School of New York, which was established by her parents in 1969.

Besides the sodomy and witness bribery counts, Sinha was convicted on several counts of criminal impersonation and falsely reporting an incident, all misdemeanours punishable by up to a year in jail.

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