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Former Riverdale Country School Teacher Surrenders in Student Sex Case

By Sonja Sharp | April 17, 2012 8:22am
A teacher at an exclusive Bronx school was charged with having sex with a student.
A teacher at an exclusive Bronx school was charged with having sex with a student.
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MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A teacher at an exclusive Bronx private school pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he had a sexual relationship with a young student.

Former Riverdale Country math teacher Richard Hovan, 30, was charged with a single count of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of a criminal sex act for allegedly performing oral sex on his 16-year-old student.

Prosecutors said he had courted her for months in salacious text and email exchanges. 

Hovan surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney's office Monday morning, after discovering that police had searched his apartment late last week. 

The MIT and Columbia-educated teacher had been working at Riverdale Country for less than three months when he allegedly first approached the young student, then just 15. 

According to court documents, the pair exchanged email and text messages leading up to an April 2011 rendevous at Hovan's Chelsea apartment, where they allegedly had oral sex. A similar encounter is alleged to have taken place in May.  

Prior to his appointment at the Bronx school, Hovan taught at the Buckley School in Manhattan and the Westtown School in Pennsylvania. He was fired from Riverdale Country in June, and has since worked as a private math tutor.

"He's a stellar teacher," said defense attorney Vinoo Varghese. "Obviously he knows this is going to hurt him, and he's looking forward to clearing his name."