A former Brooklyn high school teacher who pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her teenage students four years ago has now been ordered to pay a whopping $750,000 to the victim, a combination of punitive and compensatory damages that the victim’s lawyer hopes will teach other educators a lesson.
Back in 2012, 16-year-old Kevin Eng was seduced by his 36-year-old married English teacher, Erin Sayar, who plied him with marijuana and had sex with him a total of eight times in both the classroom and inside her SUV, Fox News reported.
The truth of their illicit relationship came to light when Eng’s girlfriend alerted school officials. Sayar was slapped with 50 criminal counts of statutory rape and sex abuse and would have up to four years in prison, but she instead copped a plea that saw her get sentenced to 10 years of probation, give up her teaching license, and register as a Level 1 sex offender.
While Sayar’s criminal case was still brewing, Eng’s mother, Maureen Eng, filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Department of Education and named Sayar as a defendant. The school system was dropped from the suit by a Brooklyn judge but kept the case open against Sayar, who is now 41 years old.
On Monday, Judge Miriam Sunshine put the case to rest during a one-day non-jury trial that awarded $250,000 in punitive and $500,000 in compensatory damages to the victim and his mother,
“This award by the judge in Brooklyn Supreme Court sends a strong message to teachers and or any individuals in authority not to cross the line and abuse their position of authority,” said Bruce Baron, who represented Eng in court.
Sayar – who represented herself in court and often failed to appear to scheduled hearings – must now fork over her financial records to prove that she can pay the judgment; if she does not, Baron plans to ask the judge to hold her in contempt of court.
The scandal is another black mark against James Madison High School in Brooklyn, which earned the ignominious nickname “Horndog High” in 2009 when two other female teachers were caught by a janitor in the midst of a boozed-up love fest with a student of legal age.