A former Bronx high-school student has won a $3.75 million city settlement for sexual assault by a predatory teacher, but was so traumatized by the abuse he called it “a hollow victory.”
After seeking justice for decades, Mark Taylor, 53, said he feels cheated out of a chance to air the rape and betrayal in a trial. The city, faced with smoking-gun evidence, is forking over seven figures yet admits no negligence.
“To me, it’s like hush money. They’re paying me off,” he told The Post. “They didn’t even apologize.”
Taylor says he still suffers from PTSD stemming from his nightmare as a 15-year-old student at Adlai Stevenson High School in Castle HIll, where teacher and dean Irwin B. Goldberg forced him into oral and anal sex, he charged in a lawsuit under the state’s Child Victims Act.
“This will be with me for the rest of my life,” said Taylor, adding that he needs ongoing therapy and medication for anxiety and sleeplessness.
The criminal assaults against Taylor took place between 1981 and 1984 in the dean’s office, empty classrooms and in Goldberg’s mother’s apartment, investigators found.
But the abuse did not come to light until the late Special Commissioner of Investigation Edward Stancik looked into his claims in 2000. Taylor was then 34 and tormented by his experiences.
The SCI planted a tiny camera and tape recorder in Taylor’s necktie. In a series of recorded conversations at the high school, Goldberg told Taylor, “I used to f–k you up the ass, right?” Stancik recounted in a 2001 report. Goldberg claimed he thought Taylor was 17, not 15, at the time.
During the meetings, Goldberg exposed his penis and urged Taylor to “suck me a minute” and “just taste it,” the report said. While they were alone at the time, the school was full of students and staff.
Irwin GoldbergJ.C. Rice
Goldberg also admitted that Taylor wasn’t his only young victim. The dean told Taylor he had not “fooled around with kids” for more than 10 years, adding, “There’s been so much publicity about problems with teachers and students that I would — I would be scared to do it now.”
Taylor complained about Goldberg’s misconduct to another teacher, Steven G. Shapiro, the SCI confirmed. Shapiro told probers he “kept the information to himself because he did not trust the school’s administration.”
The sting was enough to boot Goldberg from the city school system. He was also fired as head counselor at Blue Rill Day Camp in Rockland County. Shapiro, who had become an assistant principal at Stuyvesant High School, one of the city’s finest, retired in 2002.
Goldberg collects an annual $52,777 city pension; Shapiro gets $74,829.
Taylor helped lobby for passage of the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year window to sue for child sex-abuse no matter how long ago it occurred.
The city Law Department faulted Goldberg and Shapiro.
“The conduct admitted by this teacher was reprehensible,” a spokesman said. “Both the teacher at the core of the misconduct and the teacher who knew and did nothing to protect the student violated their positions of trust. This settlement was in the best interests of all parties.”
While settling with the city, Taylor is still pursuing damages from Goldberg, now 72. Goldberg could not be reached. His lawyer, David Ascher, did not return a call for comment.