Ridgewood #Teacher #Pleads #Guilty to Internet #Sex Crimes #Involving Teen #Student

A math teacher at middle school IS 93 in Ridgewood, has pleaded guilty to attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and other charges.

Michael Cognato, 35, of Bethpage, engaged in sexually explicit communications with the girl and received sexually explicit photos and videos of her.

District Attorney Brown said, “He preyed on this young student whom he had once been entrusted to teach. This case should serve as a clear and unmistakable warning that parents must be mindful of the people their children communicate with online. And let this be a warning to sexual predators that law enforcement is prepared to pursue you just as diligently as you go after young, innocent children.”

Cognato plead guilty to attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and second-degree criminal contempt before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gia Morris, who indicated that she would sentence the defendant to six months in jail and 10 years probation when sentenced on May 3, 2018.

As part of his plea agreement, the defendant has resigned from the New York City Department of Education, surrendered his New York State teaching license, must successfully complete a sex offender program and will be subject to the Sexual Offender Registration Act.

Cognato admitted that between July 2017, and September 2017, he engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the victim, who was 15 years old at the time, and induced her to send him sexually explicit videos of herself. He also admitted to violating the order of protection by contacting the victim following his arrest.