The New York State Department of Education is to investigate allegations an elementary school secretary in New York was forced to take raunchy photos of the female principal she worked for posing in a thong, to send to her lover.
Gisselle Vasquez, a 35-year-old mom of a six year old, was a secretary for Principal Evelina Medina, 42, at the Robert C. Dodson School on May 24, 2018, when the allegations started, according to a lawsuit.
Photographs from the suit show the degrading treatment that the secretary claims she was forced to endure.
The cache of dirty documents includes screen shots of sexually explicit text messages that the principal is alleged to have forced her secretary to write.
It apparently was all part of an effort by the principal to keep her extramarital affair secret from her husband. If she had raunchy pictures and texts stored on her secretary’s phone, her thinking was that her husband wouldn’t find out.
State Department of Education investigators have now been in contact with Vasquez.
Vasquez is suing for damages, in a lawsuit filed in May in federal court, alleging that she endured sexual harassment by multiple school officials and was retaliated against.
Vasquez’s attorney, Christopher Berlingieri, said a department investigator had told him that a probe was underway with all those allegedly involved said to be under scrutiny.
Evelina Medina, 42, the former principal at the Robert C. Dodson School in Yonkers, made her secretary Gisselle Vasquez take this photo, according to a lawsuit filed in May
Medina asked Vasquez to take the photo of her in her underwear at school, in her office, in 2018. The pictures and principal are now the subject of a Dept of Education investigation
Evelina Medina is pictured with her husband (center) and the mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano (right) at the Hispanic Professionals Association awards in 2019
‘My client will cooperate with the state DOE investigation,’ Berlingieri said to the New York Post.
The state DOE has not confirmed the existence of any probe but stressed: ‘We take all allegations of misconduct against educators extremely seriously.’
The bizarre behavior allegedly began on May 24, 2018.
Gisselle Vasquez, who worked at a Yonkers school, sued the city school district claiming she was sexually harassed by the school’s female principal, female assistant principal and male assistant principal
The allegations spanned almost two years, but Yonkers school superintendent, Edwin Quezada, did nothing, according to the court documents.
Medina texted Vasquez a photo of a man lying in bed in his underwear and told her to save the photo for her, according to the lawsuit.
The next day, Medina gave Vasquez her phone and asked her to take a photo of her and ‘then proceeded to lower her pants to her ankles, turned around and exposed her buttocks in thong underwear and posed,’ the lawsuit says.
‘She hands me the phone and says, ‘Close the door,” Vasquez told the New York Post.
‘When I looked back her pants were already down.
‘I was shocked. I didn’t know what to think. I really just froze. I worried that if I just left her office there could be a student or employee or anyone there.
‘Her office is in the main office and there is a lot of traffic.’
Medina is no longer principal at the school, but the school district wouldn’t detail the circumstances of her leaving her job.
Vasquez said she was also sent screenshots of explicit conversations from her boss, who wanted to hide them from her husband, according to the suit
It’s unclear if she’s still employed with the district.
Four days later – May 29, 2018 – Medina texted Vasquez ‘a photo of a man lying in bed holding his exposed erect penis’ and told her secretary to save it for her.
At that time, Vasquez has been working in Yonkers school district for about five years but just a month at the magnet school Robert Dodson, which has less than 900 students.
That week of alleged interactions was followed by months of buying lingerie, booking a hotel room for Medina and a time when Medina ‘forcibly grabbed (Vasquez) by the throat to show what she wanted to do with her lover’ and showing her explicit photos of her lover, the lawsuit says.
‘On more than one occasion, Medina made comments about her lover’s penis size and how it satisfied her more despite being smaller than her husband’s penis size,’ the lawsuit says.
During that time, the secretary told at least two school officials, including a letter to Human Resources, according to the suit, but nothing happened.
Vasquez was then allegedly subject to sexual harassment by two assistant principals – Sandra Guzman and Christopher Cassano, according to the lawsuit.
Vasquez filed the lawsuit in White Plains federal court, which is the courthouse in the background, on May 24
Yonkers Superintendent of Yonkers Schools District Dr. Edwin M. Quezada and Robert Dodson assistant Principal Christopher Cassano were as named in the lawsuit
Guzman said, ‘You don’t really look like a sexual person’ and asked her, ‘How many times a week do you have sex?’
Around March 2019, Cassano allegedly asked Vasquez how many times she says sex and forcibly kissed her multiple times.
In April 2019, Vasquez made another complaint to Human Resources and talked to the superintendent, who allegedly said, ‘Thank you,’ the lawsuit says.
Her human resources complaint was passed around by the other teachers, and by the end of the month, Vasquez was transferred to Chavez Public School – another Yonkers school district school – but in a different role with a different schedule.
The transfer and schedule change presented issues for plaintiff due to her familial status and childcare obligations, the suit says.
She said the move was retaliation from bringing up her bosses’ alleged transgressions.
The allegations took place in the Robert Dodson School in the city of Yonkers, New York
During the pandemic, she requested a medical accommodations because she suffers from asthma, a heart murmur and anxiety and attached a doctor’s note, but the school denied it, according to the lawsuit.
Vasquez has been out on family leave.
‘My professionalism exceeds the expectations of that facility,’ Vasquez told The New York Post. ‘To this day I can’t believe that this happened to me. I didn’t see it coming. It’s disturbing. I’m disgusted and embarrassed.’
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
The city of Yonkers, the Yonkers school district, the Dodson and Chavez schools (both in Yonkers), Medina, Cassano, Guzman, and Quezada are named in the lawsuit.
Medina is no longer principal at Dodson.