Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sandra Geisel - Another Mum Is Having Fun

ALBANY, N.Y. — The Catholic-school teacher accused of having sex with students is an alcoholic who may have plied teenage boys with liquor on a school trip, according to authorities.

Sandra "Beth" Geisel, who was recently hospitalized for alcohol dependency, was also arrested last December for DWI, according to official documents obtained by The New York Post. At the time, her blood-alcohol level was .18 — more than twice the legal limit, the documents show.

The revelations came as Geisel, 42, finished a one-day stint in jail after posting $20,000 bail Tuesday on charges she raped a 16-year-old boy during two alleged sexual trysts in May — one in a school football field's press box, the other at her home in the Albany suburb of Latham. The boy was a student at Christian Brothers Academy in Colonie, N.Y., where Geisel was a volunteer teacher, and where her own teenage son is a student.

Albany District Attorney David Soares is exploring additional charges of plying minors with alcohol, both in New York and in Florida, where the school's students traveled in February. "There's a lot to this story including events that transpired outside the jurisdiction of New York state," Soares told FOX News on Wednesday. Soares said the county would not treat Geisel differently than a man accused of a sexual crime. "There is one standard of justice that is applied here in Albany County," Soares said.

An unsigned June 27 letter to CBA board members from "concerned parents" accused Geisel of becoming "so irrepressibly intoxicated" during that trip that "she was unable to stand, and four juniors had to carry her back to the hotel." Several faculty members, the letter said, had alerted administrators, but no action was taken against her. After the February trip, the letter said, students circulated photos showing Geisel in a "scanty bikini," standing with some of the teens in their bathing suits, while she had her hand on one of their buttocks. The letter also said administrators had been told of teachers' concerns "about the all-too-frequent closed-door visitations of a handful of boys to Mrs. Geisel's office, which has no windows." Administrators reportedly responded by installing a window.

While on bail, Geisel must stay away from "all current or former CBA students with whom [she is] alleged to have had sexual contact," not leave the state, observe a 10 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, and undergo psychiatric and substance-abuse evaluations, court documents say.

CBA fired Geisel in mid-June after she was allegedly caught with a 17-year-old student in a parked car. Since then, she has been accused of having sex with at least two other 17-year-old students and other indiscretions. The mother of four, who has been separated from her prominent banker husband for two months, has not been charged in those cases because 17 is the state age of consent. Geisel was not disciplined for the earlier Florida trip. School officials also failed to take action in response to her Dec. 18 arrest for DWI. She pleaded guilty two days later to a reduced charge of driving while impaired by alcohol. She was fined $300, and her license was suspended for 90 days. John Aretakis, a lawyer representing one 17-year- old who allegedly had sex with Geisel, said the letter from parents and the DWI "shows that the school should have taken action much sooner" against the teacher.

Source: The New York Times

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