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Hudson Valley Press


October 19th, 2010

Rossi arrested for inappropriate conduct with child



Michael Rossi

NEW WINDSOR – Washingtonville High School Principal Michael Rossi was arrested Monday night and charged with having inappropriate conduct with a 16-year-old male student.

Rossi, a New Windsor resident, allegedly engaged in sexual abuse and forcible touching on October 11.

New Windsor Police have charged Rossi with endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated harassment, forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree.

He was arraigned and released on $2,500 bail.

No other children have come forward so far.

Donald J. Feerick, Jr., a South Nyack attorney representing Rossi said the Washingtonville High School Principal will be exonerated. "In 30 years as a teacher, coach and principal, Michael has never had any kind of sexual relationship with a student." He continued, "Michael Rossi has only intervened to help students. Intervention by good-hearted role models will sometimes put those role models at risk for their efforts to be misinterpreted or even distorted by others."

2.5 / 5 (8 Votes)


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Reader Response
  • Anonymous eyewitness
  • November 30th, 2012 This guy looks just like the young man I remember from the late seventies in what is now known and recently realized as a confidential mass murder site Deep Quarry in Dupage County that was covertly cleaned up in 1979 . He has the same face, profile, hair color, posture, apparent height, eyes, complexion, age. I remember him well. If this is him he may remember me too. This will be investigated. If this is him he is not the great guy you people think he is.If this is him he has fooled everyone including the 1979 cops. I am 99% certain that this is the guy I remember. It will be a tragedy of injustice to the many Deep Quarry victims if this guy is not investigated.

    Reader Response
  • Kristin Piko
  • October 28th, 2010 Mr. Rossi didn't only save me in High School but thousands of other students that needed help and support in school and out. To hear this new is complete devastation!!!!! Not many schools are lucky enough to have students that can have so many positive memories and things to say about their high school experience and in this case im very proud to say it’s all because of ONE teacher. One caring and amazing individual who listened to his students, never judge them for their mistakes but helped with them, someone that would never set a student up for failure and someone who was always there inside or outside of the classroom for support. Personally I think our education system needs more “Mr. Rossi’s”, more teachers that take pride in their work and extra strides to see the results he knows a student has within them. He's always been a great teacher, father, husband and friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reader Response
  • Douggie smalls
  • October 28th, 2010 Huh...suddenly all those disciplinary spankings he administered make sense. Though it doesn't explain the Batman costume...

    Reader Response
  • el oh el
  • October 27th, 2010 What a nice bunch of comments. I bet you could say he finds them even...touching. Maybe even forcibly so!

    Reader Response
  • FREEROSSI
  • October 24th, 2010 FREEROSSI.COM SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

    Reader Response
  • FREEROSSI
  • October 24th, 2010 WEBSITE FOR SUPPORTERS OF MR. ROSSI. LETS SHED LIGHT ON THE MR.ROSSI WE LOVE AND NOT THE ONE THE MEDIA IS TRYING TO PORTRAY

    Reader Response
  • Donna Farina
  • October 22nd, 2010 I've known Mike Rossi for years, he taught my kids, we were friends.
    No way I believe these charges are true....in the course of 30 years..he's helped every kids he ever met. He took them to court, was a role model..many kids would not have graduated from High School if it wasn't for him....Now, out of the blue one apparently very confused 16 yr. old boy makes a ridiculous claim like this...and everything Mike has done goes down the drain if he's found guilty...which innocent people are! Who knows what the circumstances were....but knowing Mike Rossi.....something is very wrong!! Suddenly after all the good he has done over so many years.....he would decide to to something this outrageous? NOT BUYING IT!!! the car, the texting...not strange at all...he went places with kids and used cell phones all the time....

    Reader Response
  • Charlene Ranghelli
  • October 22nd, 2010 My son graduated from Hastings High School in 1998, all because Mike Rossi started a program called HASP. Without Mr. Rossi's help my son and many other students would never have graduated high school. He was the MOST integral part in helping these kids. I will always be truly grateful to him and cannot imagine that after all these years of his teaching career that he would be guilty of something like this. Yes, innocent until proven guilty. The problem is, I've known people who were innocent and the justice system failed them. I pray this does not happen with Mr. Rossi.

    Reader Response
  • Douglas Schmidt
  • October 20th, 2010 Hundreds of troubled students have been helped by this man. He has saved many lives, in many different ways. And only 1 troubled student has ever said anything like this about him, in 30 years. He was released on 2,500 bail. If the judge felt he really did it, he would not have been released back to his home, wife and kids.

    Reader Response
  • Former Student
  • October 19th, 2010 I am a former student of Michael Rossi’s from when he taught years ago at Hastings High School. This man is one of the best Educators, Administrators and human beings I have ever met in my life. I’ve spent countless hours in Mr. Ross’s presence both with other students and alone and NOT ONCE was there anything that ever even seemed remotely inappropriate. This is a man who changed people’s lives, motivated troubled students to become educated productive members of society and generally improved the life of anyone who has ever been lucky enough to be in his presence. There must be an explanation for all of this. I’m not saying the text messages and Rossi being in the car is a total fabrication, but I do think there was a false interpretation of those events.
    Everyone who is posting horrible things about this man, all anyone knows right now is what the media is telling you! The media will play this up as much as they can just so there will be a better chance of you sitting through the next commercial break. This man has a career, a life, a wife, kids and the respect of THOUSANDS that could all go down the drain whether he is guilty or not. Have some respect, let things get sorted out and lets get to the bottom of this before judging. I highly doubt he is guilty, but if he is ever found guilty for these allegations I will have a hard time trusting another human being for the rest of my life. If this type of person is capable of sexually abusing a 16 year old boy, then this world is screwed. Innocent until proven guilty. Free Rossi.

    Reader Response
  • EXHASP HASTINGS STUDENT
  • October 19th, 2010 HOLD YOUR HEAD ROSSI. MIKE ROSSI SAVED MY LIFE BY NOT LETTING ME DROP OUT MY SENIOR YEAR! AND NEVER MADE ANY HOMOSEXUAL ADVANCES TOWARDS ME!!!! INNOCENT TO PROVIN GUILTY. KID WAS PROLLY GAY ANYWAY AND ROOSI SET HIM STRAIGHT AND HE COULDN'T HANDLE REJECTION SO HE TOLD COPS ROSSI TOUCHED HIM.

    HASP 2000 GRADUATING CLASS, GOT YOUR BACK!!

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