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Teacher Seduced 16-Year-Old He Met in Wife's Church Choir, Officials Say

By Ben Fractenberg | December 20, 2012 3:14pm
 Vaughn McKinney, 58, who taught at IS 59 in Queens was arrested on Dec. 20, 2012, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl in 2011.
Vaughn McKinney, 58, who taught at IS 59 in Queens was arrested on Dec. 20, 2012, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl in 2011.
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LAURELTON — A Queens teacher was arrested Thursday for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl — whom he met through a Brooklyn church choir led by his wife, authorities said.

Vaughn McKinney, 58, who teaches music at I.S. 59 in Laurelton, had sex with the teenager in his Brooklyn home and at a motel more than a dozen times, according to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District.

The teacher lavished the girl, who is now a 17-year-old junior, with phones — which he used to communicate with her — an iPod, and cash, the agency found.

McKinney, who started his career as a substitute teacher in 1993, has been reassigned to an administrative office, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education said.

"He has already been removed from the school, and we are seeking his termination," the department said in a statement.

McKinney, whose current salary is $83,642, was still receiving full pay pending the outcome of the investigation, the spokeswoman said. Criminal charges against McKinney were pending, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.

The relationship began about March 2011 when the girl — who was a member a Brooklyn church choir led by McKinney's wife, Patricia — approached McKinney to help her find a job, the victim's mother told investigators.

That's when McKinney first allegedly took advantage of the girl, the agency found.

He told her "he would be willing to give her money in exchange for sex," the SCI report said.

The girl's father told investigators earlier this year that his daughter began having sex with McKinney after she told him she wanted a cell phone she could not afford, according to the report.

“If I get you the cell phone, you know what you have to do for it,” McKinney told the victim, according to the SCI report.

A neighbor of McKinney told DNAinfo she was "dumbfounded" by the news. The neighbor, who asked that her name not be used, called McKinney and his wife "very nice people." Patricia McKinney was devoted to her church and choir and frequently took the singing group on trips, she said.

Vaughn McKinney was a "very friendly, very down-to-earth" person who gave music lessons to kids in his basement on Saturdays, she said. It was in that basement that Vaughn also had sex with the girl on a couch while his wife was at church on Sunday mornings, according to the SCI report.

McKinney told investigators he had known the girl for about three years, and only began having sex with her in September 2011, when she was already 17, according to the report.

He also admitted to buying her a cell phone and iPod, but only because he felt sorry for her when she complained to him about “not having things that other kids her age had,” the report said.

Special Commissioner Richard Condon recommended to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott that McKinney be fired and made ineligible to ever work in city schools again, according to a statement.