2018-02-07 / Front Page

Ridgewood Perv Teacher Arrested Again

By Liz Goff
A Ridgewood math teacher who was arrested last October for sending lurid, graphic photos and videos of himself to a former student was arrested again last week for re-establishing contact the victim, a police source said.

Michael Cognato, 35, of Bethpage, L.I., was arrested on February 1st for violating an order of protection that barred him from having any contact with the student. Cognato was charged with criminal contempt for contacting the victim in violation of the court order, the police source said.

Cognato was the victim’s eighth grade math teacher at Intermediate School 93 in Ridgewood, and he tutored the girl following her graduation from the school, according to a complaint filed by Queens prosecutors in his October arrest.

He initiated sexually explicit conversations with the teen on Facebook messaging and Skype, and sent at least 15 naked photos of himself to her between August and October 2017, according to the complaint. The girl then sent sexually explicit photos of herself to Cognato, and the two exchanged graphic sexual videos of each other, the complaint said.

Cognato was arrested after the girl’s mother discovered the activity and called police.

Cognato began working as a teacher at IS93 in 2001, according to the Department of Education. Following his arrest, Cognato “was immediately removed from the school and reassigned away from children,” a DOE spokesperson said. He continued to collect his $82,995 annual salary performing administrative duties in a central Department of Education office.









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