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LIC High School Teacher Slept with Student, Offered Gifts and Altered Grades: Investigation

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Nov. 22, 2019 By Allie Griffin

A former Long Island City High School teacher inappropriately texted female students, boosted failing grades, gave students money, gifts, alcohol and slept with one student, according to a new city investigation.

Math teacher Peter Muhlbach, 53, of Woodside, engaged in inappropriate behavior with several female students dating back to at least 2014, according to a report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) released Thursday.

In January 2015, Muhlbach began a sexual relationship with a student and supplied her with alcohol and various drugs, according to the report. The student, now 24, moved into Mulbach’s apartment after graduation, she told investigators.

Muhlbach supported the former student financially throughout the course of their relationship. He gave her free use of his car and a credit card. She recently ended their relationship after learning her former teacher was hiding her mail and was moving to Florida, according to the report.

All the while, Muhlbach continued to prey on teenage students at Long Island City High School, engaging in flirty behavior, offering them money and gifts and asking them to meet for drinks outside of school.

Long Island City High School (Google Maps)

Commissioner Anastasia Coleman began the investigation in December 2018 when the office received an anonymous complaint that Muhlbach had an inappropriate relationship with a female student and that there were photos on social media of the pair together at a bar.

Two months later, Assistant Principal Maria Argyris alerted SCI that parents of a 15-year-old student found inappropriate text messages with the math teacher on her phone.

In text exchanges, Muhlbach called the 15-year-old “mi amor” and said that he missed her and wanted her to visit him in Florida.

Allegations against Muhlbach continued to pour in over the course of SCI’s investigation.

Students told investigators that their teacher give them gifts and money for their birthdays — $50 in one case — or when they did well on tests.

They said Muhlbach commented on a 17-year-old student’s provocative picture on social media with the heart eyes emoji and that his Facebook timeline was “full of photos” of himself with current and former students.

Several students who spoke with investigators corroborated that their teacher texted many of his female students, often in a flirtatious way. SCI obtained Muhlbach’s phone records and found thousands of exchanges between three female students in particular, including the student he lived with.

One student told investigators her teacher’s flirty behavior made her feel uncomfortable. She said Muhlbach called her “his wife” in front of the class and gave her a stuffed baby flamingo from Florida for her birthday. The 18-year-old said Muhlbach openly told students who were about to graduate that they could go out for drinks together after graduation.

The parents of the 15-year-old student who found their daughter’s texts with her teacher were also concerned Muhlbach was altering her grades in his class. They told investigators all her grades were consistently low except in Muhlbach’s class in which she averaged a 90 despite numerous absences.

“If you were pretty and a girl, Muhlbach would offer to give you ‘whatever grade’ you wanted,” the 18-year-old student told investigators. She said she asked for a 90 and received a 100, despite her own belief that she was “failing miserably,” got a 35 out of 100 on her math Regents exam and amassed 30 absences during the school year.

Muhlbach was reassigned to a central office in May and a problem code was attached to his record. He subsequently resigned from the DOE on September 1, according to the report.

The SCI recommended that the problem code attached to Muhlbach’s personnel record be made permanent to prohibit him from future employment with the DOE or any of its vendors in the report.

The DOE didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Muhlbach Report by Queens Post on Scribd

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31 Comments

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Maluana Karenga

What city allows u sleep with students get high with them, and keep your job. He’ll be in that nice lounge created for misfit teachers in Brooklyn sleeping on a couch till he meets age for service at 55 and collect a handsome pension and TDA

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Anonymous

Also how desperate do you have to be to even flirt with that man, let alone sleep with him 🤢. I know him from high school and everything about him was disgusting.

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John

That’s a great question . Imaging how bad the home life of these girls was to seek the attention of this guy . He targeted them .

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Jenastoriat

Abusers typically pick out and groom the most vulnerable. Not all of your classmates may have been able to discern like you did. Likely they were targeted for that reason, and flirting was not involved. Even if it was, it’s the teacher’s responsibility, and the law, not to take advantage.

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Anonymous

I think Sara Ross may have not used the right words but I get what she’s saying. He’s completely wrong but some of them are just as wrong. They saw an opportunity for free money, free alcohol, etc and as young teens they just took it not realizing how dumb it was. I’ve witnessed it myself with girls in high school. They don’t ever really think Of the outcome.

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John

They are teenagers ! They were also minors at the start of this . Predators like this target kids who don’t have great lives . There is no gray area . He’s a predator taking advantage of young , naive teenagers .

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Mac

Bill – Vulnerable teenagers?? Like the teens who attacked a couple for their dog on the E train or the armed teens who were arrested in Corona or the teens robbing elderly citizens?

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John

Were these the same teenagers or are you correlating two different people because they are both teenagers ?

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Willie

@john, I think the man is just pointing out just because somebody is a teenager they shouldn’t be automatically viewed as vulnerable or innocent. Not all teens are the same as is all criminals and crimes. Stop painting everything with one brush.

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John

Ok, got it. But statutory rape and supplying alcohol to those under 21 is a crime. This victim blaming is not helpful. He abused a position of authority.

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Willie

@John – You need to look up the definition of that “statutory rape”allegation. The legal age of consent in NY is 17. The girl this clown slept with was 20 at the start of the relationship, there was no statutory rape just unethical behavior and very poor judgement. We have not hit the point where all sex is rape, yet but we’re getting there quite quickly.

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Peter Bilt

In January 2015, Muhlbach began a sexual relationship with a student and supplied her with alcohol and various drugs, according to the report. The student, now 24, moved into Mulbach’s apartment after graduation, she told investigators. So the student was 20 in 2015 and still in high school

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Jenastoriat

Is it possible to stop using sleep as a euphemism for sex? please! This creep was not napping, he had sex with a child, and he groomed other children for sex.

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Pat Macnamara

The child was 20 at the time. Still in High School. He must have been a terrible Math teacher

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You're completely wrong again

“In January 2015, Muhlbach began a sexual relationship with a student and supplied her with alcohol and various drugs, according to the report. The student, now 24, moved into Mulbach’s apartment after graduation, she told investigators.”

Try reading the article and learning basic arithmetic.

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John

Well maybe we had this guy has our Math teacher so we never learned basic arithmetic! Ever think of that?!!

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Pat Macnamara

I did read the article. In 2019 the student is now 24. In 2015 that means she was 20. She wasn’t a child. Developmentally probably a child though. This lowlife teacher should not be flirting with any of his students-regardless of their age.

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Sara Ross

Sounds like all parties involved were willing participants and that one girl got mad one was moving out of state..

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Caucasian Rascal

Sara Ross,

Usually I agree with you but you can’t be serious, particularly as a woman, that 15 and 17 or even 18 year old girls are “willing participants” in a relationship with a 50 year old man. Are you sure your judgment isn’t clouded because a possible tribesman is the transgressor?

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Bill

What a nonsensical response! This is the story of an adult in a position of authority and power taking advantage of vulnerable teenagers for his own advantage. Period!

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Mac

John – You need to go back to high or you just plain didn’t read the story. To quote this article “n January 2015, Muhlbach began a sexual relationship with a student and supplied her with alcohol and various drugs, according to the report. The student, now 24, moved into Mulbach’s apartment after graduation, she told investigators.”This high school girl was 20 at the time of the offense. John you’re a hero.

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John

Did you miss the part where he was sending inappropriate texts to a 15 year old girl? He was sending a minor , and a student, who was 15, inappropriate texts. Sexting a minor whether there are pictures or not is illegal.

He also gave good grades to pretty girls. This is also sex discrimination which is also illegal.

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Willie

@John- Take a remedial reading class, please…”A former Long Island City High School teacher inappropriately texted female students, boosted failing grades, gave students money, gifts, alcohol and slept with one student, according to a new city investigation.” 2nd “If you were pretty and a girl, Muhlbach would offer to give you ‘whatever grade’ you wanted,” the 18-year-old student told investigators.
You confuse allegations and statements in the article with facts of the investigation (which can be found in the attached scribd) the investigators report states “flirtatious” texts were sent to a 15 doesn’t say anything about “sexting” a fifteen year old. All criminal charges look like they involve student I..Charges of corrupting morals of a minor, supplying drugs, supplying alcohol but no statutory rape. Also altering of grades can be an issue, please take note a boys grades were also allegedly altered, nothing is mentioned in the official report about “pretty girls” being a criteria, that’s an allegation made by a student who was interviewed by investigators. Pasted below is DOE policy regarding social media. You appear too lazy to google it yourself.
Spring 2012
NYC Department of Education Social Media Guidelines

Definition of Social Media
Social media is defined as any form of online publication or presence that allows interactive communication, including, but not limited to, social networks, blogs, internet websites, internet forums, and wikis. Examples of social media include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, Google+, and Flickr.
1.Professional social media
is a work-related social media activity that is either school-based(e.g., a DOE principal establishing a Facebook page for his/her school or a DOE teacher
establishing a blog for his/her class), or non-school-based (e.g., a DOE office establishing a Facebook page to facilitate the office‟s administration of a Chancellor‟s Regulation).
2. Personal social media
use is a non work-related social media activity (e.g., a DOE central administrative employee establishing a Facebook page or a Twitter account for his/her own personal use).
1 These Guidelines do not address student-to-student communication via social media.

The DOE‟s Bill of Student
Rights and Responsibilities sets forth expected standards of behavior with respect to student communication.

The DOE‟s Discipline
Code establishes the range of disciplinary options and guidance intervention that can be used when students engage in misconduct involving social media

Jenastoriat

No. Assuming the reports are correct, the pattern of conduct, ie grooming, by the creep shows that he was the perp. Abusers target the most vulnerable, whatever that vulnerability may be.

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David

Jen- You’re a product of the me too movement “all sex is rape” and don’t forget seduction is now predatory behavior.

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