A Westchester County high school teacher was arrested in the alleged rape of a 16-year-old student on what was supposed to be his wedding day Friday, authorities said.
John M. Azabache, a 31-year-old math teacher at Ossining High School, turned himself in to police and was arraigned on a charge of third-degree rape in town court, police said.
Azabache, of Port Chester, allegedly had sexual relations with the student between March and July 1 of this year. The girl's family contacted police, who conducted an investigation.
The alleged encounters did not occur on school property or during school hours, police said.
The Journal News reports Azabache was scheduled to be married Friday to a White Plains woman.
Azabache was jailed on $50,000 bail and ordered not to contact the student as well as his fiancee and two of her family members because they were "witnesses to events after the fact," according to the judge.
Azabache has been reassigned from teaching and barred from school grounds pending the outcome of the case, according to a statement from the school district. He had no prior criminal record.
Students at the school said Azabache was well-liked and were stunned by the allegations.
"I never thought that he would do something like that," said one student.
"It's really the biggest mistake a teacher can do. He's going to lose all the respect he had from all the kids."
His lawyer Tony Castro told reporters his client has a "stellar record as a schoolteacher," adding, "I just want to note that what he’s being charged with does not involve any forceable compulsion. It involves an alleged incident with a minor, someone who is just under 17 years old.”
Asked about the wedding, Castro said, “I assumed it was called off. Frankly, that is nothing I discussed with him.”
Azabache is due back in court July 23.