Somerville teacher had sex with student, police say; Lalli killing suspects indicted (update)
A Somerville teacher has been arraigned on rape charges for conducting an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old, said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Somerville Police Chief Charles Femino on Wednesday.
Alexandra Romanos, 41, of Stoneham, was arraigned on two counts of aggravated rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. Somerville District Court Judge Neil Walker ordered the defendant held on $50,000 bail with conditions that if she posts bail she is to have no contact with the victim or victim’s family; no unsupervised contact with children under 16; to stay away from Somerville School system; have a GPS monitor; and stay under house arrest.
Romanos was a teacher at East Somerville Community School for nearly seven years and holds a master’s degree from Lesley University from 2005, according to her LinkedIn profile.
According to authorities, at the end of June, they became aware of allegations concerning an inappropriate relationship between Romanos and the minor. Somerville Police and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office investigated and found that in late March the defendant had initiated a sexual relationship with the minor that occurred on and off-school grounds, they said.
“The safety and well-being of our students is always our highest priority, so it is all the more disturbing that a teacher – the very individual most entrusted to ensure that safety on a daily basis – has allegedly blatantly violated that trust,” said Somerville’s mayor, Joseph A. Curtatone. of. “I commend the parent who took the right step in reporting this to school officials, and I commend and thank the District Attorney’s Office and the Somerville Police for their swift and thorough investigation. We will continue to cooperate with the D.A.’s investigation in any way needed.”
Romanos was arrested by Somerville Police on Wednesday morning without incident and has been placed on administrative leave by the Community School.
The defendant’s next court date is July 29 for a probable cause hearing.
The charges follow the April arrest of Josh Wairi, 27, a former fifth-grade teacher at the Graham & Parks School in Cambridge, on child pornography charges. Officials say he admitted to secretly videotaping and using a camera on his phone to record children changing in a school locker room, although Cambridge Superintendent Jeffrey Young said he is not aware of an allegation that this took place at Graham & Parks. His previous teaching job was in Somerville at the Arthur D. Healey School, which is attended by students from kindergarten to the eighth grade.
“We entrust teachers with our children to educate, supervise and mentor them especially during these very important early years of their lives. Teachers and parents traditionally form a critical partnership. We clearly expect that they won’t take advantage of these children entrusted to them,” District Attorney Ryan said. “These are very distressing allegations. The idea that a teacher would use their position of authority to manipulate an impressionable young teenager is unsettling and alarming.”
Update on Aug. 11, 2014: Romanos was indicted on four counts of aggravated rape of a child; eight counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 by a mandated reporter; and disseminating material harmful to a minor, Ryan announced today.
The defendant is scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Woburn Superior Court.
In additional news of Somerville crime, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Thursday that a Somerville father and son have been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury in connection with the death of Vincent Lalli, 66, also of Somerville, whose body was discovered Jan. 29 behind a school in Norwood.
Anthony Canejo Sr., 53, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in violation of a restraining order, violation of a restraining order, and improper disposal of human remains.
Anthony Canejo Jr., 30, was indicted on charges of being an accessory after the fact to murder, and two counts of receiving stolen property under $250.
Arraignment dates have not been set.