A New York City school teacher and her married principal reportedly turned the elementary school into their sex den and threatened the staff to stay mum or lose their jobs. Assistant Principal Sergio Herrera and Jessenia Zapata are now being investigated for allegedly conducting a torrid affair and having sex inside the school building on a regular basis.
As the investigation into the allegations continue, many teachers have now come forward and are saying that Herrera would often threaten them into silence after he found out that his secret affair with Zapata was known to the staff, according to a New York Post report. Sources say, some students also knew about their affair.
Herrera and Zapata would regularly have sex, even on work days, and had turned the Queen's elementary school into their sex den. The outlet, citing sources, reported that, Herrera and Zapata would have sex almost everywhere inside the school building — from the school library to the science labs and sometimes even while kids were in class.
However, they didn't stop there. When Herrera learnt that the his steamy affair is no more a secret and the staff members know about them, he straightaway started threatening them. He asked to keep silent or lose their job.
Understandably, teachers and staff members fearing losing their jobs followed what Herrera and Zapata said. "This is a school run by fear," said one of nearly a dozen sources at PS 197 in Far Rockaway, who spoke to the outlet but preferred not to disclose her name.
"Everyone is scared to say anything. We don't know what else to do," the source added.
Caught at Last
It is not known since when the affair and the eventual sexual encounters had been going on but Herrera and Zapata were recently exposed. The Special Commissioner of Investigation is now in possession of text messages that indicate Herrera and Zapata had sex in their school building during work days, the sources told the NYPost.
Most of the texts were from Zapata. In one of the text written to a colleague during a school day in October 2019, Zapata said, "I just had sex with him in his office,"
"We're in library now. Girl it was worth the risk," she wrote describing her sex romp with Herrera. In another text, where the venue changed from the library to the science lab, Zapata wrote: "We just had sex in rickys lab in the closet." The message was sent in December 2019.
The regular sex romps not only left the staffers disturbed but also made them panic that they would lose their job if they speak up against the assistant principal and his sex kitten. "How is a parent going to feel that this is going on in their kid's school?" a teacher said. "It's just totally inappropriate and shows that they feel like they can do anything."
On one occasion both Zapata and Herrera took leave saying that they were sick and then went to a hotel to have sex. "U think people r going to talking shit if we r both out?" Herrera messaged Zapata before the meeting in October 2019.
"Idgaf anymore," Zapata replied. "Let them talk amor."
That said Herrera, who is married, gradually grew concerned after learning that his affair with Zapata was no more a secret. He even confronted one teacher in a January 2020 meeting and asked if they know about his affair.
With Zapata in the room, Herrera threatened the female teacher that he would ruin her career if she didn't tell him who all among the staff knew of the relationship or if she ever leaked word of it. The two were finally exposed after Herrera's wife found out about the affair and furiously alerted principal Christina Villavicencio in 2020, sources said.
Following that, concerned teachers opened up and an investigation was launched. "Our schools must be safe havens for all students and staff, and these are very troubling allegations," said DOE spokesperson Katie O'Hanlon. "Immediately following these allegations being reported, the teacher was reassigned to a different supervisor and there is an ongoing, independent investigation to determine appropriate next steps."