The Queens middle school teacher charged with statutory rape was a popular, fun educator who shared details about his personal life with his class, students said.
“He was actually a really cool teacher,” said a former student. “He was funny. He joked around with us a lot.”
Daniel Reilly, a sixth grade English teacher at I.S. 237, is accused of having sex multiple times since last November with a 14-year-old girl he used to teach, authorities said.
The 36-year-old married father from Forest Hills was charged with rape, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse at his arraignment on Tuesday, April 9, according to the district attorney.
“This case is particularly disturbing,” said District Attorney Richard Brown. “Schools should be safe havens for children. Instead, this defendant is accused of sexually preying upon one of his former students and rendezvousing with her at his residence.”
A criminal complaint details several incidents in which Reilly and the victim lay naked in bed together and engaged in sexual activities in his home.
I.S. 237 in Flushing where Reilly is a sixth grade English teacher. (THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan)
The relationship, which allegedly continued for more than nine months, surfaced when the victim’s sister found sexually explicit text messages on her phone, Brown said.
Reilly was arrested on April 8 at 8 p.m. in Forest Hills, said cops.
The educator, who makes close to $62,000 a year, has taught at the Flushing school for six years, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Education said. He was immediately reassigned out of the school, and there were no prior investigations.
Reilly posted bail for $30,000, according to the district attorney. The educator is ordered to return to court on May 6. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
Students said Reilly was open with his personal life, telling his class how “goofy” he was in high school as well as his time in the U.S. Navy.
Reilly is also a new father, according to teens who knew him, and welcomed a baby daughter to the world last year.
“That’s pretty unacceptable,” said Mike Chen, whose 14-year-old son attends the school. “Something like that is every parent’s nightmare.”
Reilly’s wife and mother-in-law leave court with his lawyer. (Photo: NY Daily News)