G'land police charge TOAST teacher with sexual abuse

Wendy Daignault, a Guilderland resident, and teacher in the Albany City School District at the Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST), was arrested by Guilderland police on Wednesday, March 10, and charged with sexual abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

According to police, Daignault was arrested due to a complaint about an incident that occurred on July 12.

We received a complaint, an investigation was conducted, and we determined a crime was committed, said Captain Cox of the Guilderland Police Department. Cox said the alleged crime involves inappropriate touching with an underage female victim; however, he could not go into details due to the age of the victim.

Ron Lesko, communications director for the Albany City School District, said the district is aware of the allegations. "Absolutely none of the allegations in this case, according to police, happen at the school," said Lesko. He confirmed that Daignault is a teacher at TOAST, and that she has been put on paid administrative leave by the school district.

According to New York State Penal Law, sexual abuse in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor.

According to Jane Briggs, a spokesperson for the New York State Education Department, a teacher can face a number of penalties, up to having their teaching certificate revoked, if convicted of sexual abuse in the third degree.

"It is a case by case basis," she said. "The range of penalties includes the imposition of a fine, continuing education, certificate suspension, certificate revocation, and the denial to be issued a certificate in the case of an applicant."

Daignault was arraigned at Guilderland Town Court on the date she was arrested, and is due back to make an appearance at the court Thursday, March 25.


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