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Custodian Arrested for Allegedly Stalking Teen at Lady Gaga's Former School

By Murray Weiss | April 25, 2013 9:47am
 Convent of the Sacred Heart.
Convent of the Sacred Heart.
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DNAinfo / Josh Williams

UPPER EAST SIDE — A custodian at the posh Manhattan Catholic school once attended by pop mega-star Lady Gaga has been arrested for stalking a student — sending her Valentine's Day cards and candy and then contacting her on Facebook and Twitter, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

John Prato, who worked at Convent of the Sacred Heart School on the Upper East Side, was charged with aggravated harassment and stalking for a string of overtures to a 17-year-old senior at the school.

According to the criminal complaint, Prato, 56, initially sent a heart-shaped Valentine’s card and candy to the girl on Feb. 14. The shaken student, who was alarmed by the gift and attention, complained to school officials that she did not want Prato to have any contact with her.

A week later, the school's security chief confronted Prato and explained that “it was inappropriate and against school policy” to lavish gifts on students, the complaint said. He also warned Prato that he had to stay away from the student.

But on March 15, Prato allegedly used his computer to send a message to the senior’s Facebook page asking to befriend her.

Three days later, Prato reached out to her on her Twitter account, which “caused her annoyance and alarm, and prompted her to again report the overtures to school officials," who notified police.

Prato, who lives in The Bronx, was picked up Monday and arraigned Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court. He was released without bail.

Convent of the Sacred Heart, located at Fifth Avenue and 91st Street, is considered one of the city’s top Catholic schools, with a long list of graduate luminaries that includes Lady Gaga and her sister.

Other bold-faced alumni include Caroline Kennedy, Gloria Vanderbilt, Eunice Shriver, Magee Hickey, Paris Hilton and Elaine Stritch.

The school is one of the most selective and expensive as well, with tuition ranging from $20,000 for pre-K students to nearly $38,000 for high schoolers.

Prato is due back in court on May 28, authorities said.