<<Home Niagara Falls Reporter Archive>>

Teacher Convicted of Attempted Statutory Rape Gets Job at Niagara Falls Water Board

By Frank Parlato

The Niagara Falls Reporter has learned that John T. Summerson, a former licensed NYS teacher who pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted rape, has been hired at the Niagara Falls Water Board.

Among co-workers, it is widely known that Summerson has been hired. The Reporter received multiple communications on the matter expressing displeasure or dismay.

Summerson, who was a substitute teacher for the Niagara Falls School District in 2011, is now an operator trainee at the Water Board, a probationary position, with a starting salary of $31,008.

In May, 2011, Summerson was accused of the (statutory) rape of a girl he was home tutoring. He was 24. At the time of the incident, the girl, a teenager (15), was a ninth grader at Niagara Falls High School.

Summerson was arrested after a physical altercation with the girl's father in Tim Hortons Donut Shop on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls. The girl confessed to police that she and Summerson engaged in consensual acts in her grandmother's house when he came to tutor her in math.

Summerson admitted to NFPD detectives Patricia McCune and Daniel Dobrasz that "some touching, some rubbing" took place, but he stopped short of intercourse.

Summerson was charged with second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child and was terminated by the Niagara Falls School Board. He also surrendered his NYS teacher's license.

Between the time of his arrest and the final plea bargain, negotiations over a plea focused mainly on whether Summerson actually had intercourse with the underage girl.

In the end, Summerson pled guilty to attempted second-degree rape, which spared the girl the necessity of testifying, and him of an allocution of rape and jail time.

Prior to sentencing, Asst. District Atty. Robert Zucco told Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, that he had "concerns" about Summerson's "acceptance of responsibility" for his crime.

Summerson's attorney, James Faso, said his client "accepted responsibility for what happened."

"I just want to say I'm sorry," Summerson told the court, "truly sorry for what happened."

Judge Farkas sentenced Summerson - who reportedly had no prior criminal record - to 10 years probation.

Summerson has eight years of probation remaining and is at work at his new job this week.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 04, 2014