NEW CASTLE - Christopher Schraufnagel was sentenced today to three years' probation for sexually abusing three students at Chappaqua's Horace Greeley High School.
The former teacher slipped out a side door in New Castle Town Court and left without commenting after the previously agreed upon sentence, which also requires Schraufnagel to register as a sex offender. A sex offender registry hearing is set for July 12.
Schraufnagel, who also had to surrender his New York state teaching license, lives in New Jersey, which is expected to supervise his probation, the Westchester County District Attorney's Office said in a press release.
Schraufnagel's lawyer, Stacey Richman, also left without commenting.
"Sober predator walking!" Gary Murphy yelled, along with an obscenity, at Schraufnagel as he left the courtroom.
Murphy was one of a handful of local residents who attended the sentencing before Justice Douglas Kraus.
"The school board, the judge, the district attorney got what they wanted," Murphy said outside the courthouse. "They protected the name Chappaqua. They didn’t protect the students. They didn’t protect the children. It’s just sad."
David Engelsher, a lawyer for four of Schraufnagel's former students who have sued him in state Supreme Court, said afterward that his clients "have a life now of permanent damage. So no, there's no closure here. This was closure for the defendant. This was not closure for my clients."
There are also orders of protection for Schraufnagel's three victims. Assistant District Attorney Mary Clark-DiRusso said she received two victim impact statements, and one of the teenagers felt guilt for what had happened.
"We'd like to thank the children for coming forward. We applaud the parents," said Clark-DiRusso, who prosecuted the case with Joyce Miller.
Clark-DiRusso said the victims came forward with the hope that no one else would be abused.
"I think they accomplished that," she said.
Kraus said of the victim who feels guilt, "In the eyes of the law, he doesn't bear responsibility for what happened."
Schraufnagel, 42, a New Jersey resident, pleaded guilty in November to two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child, and one misdemeanor count of sexual abuse. He admitted to abusing three of his 15-year-old students while he was a speech and drama teacher at Greeley between 2011 and 2015.
Schraufnagel had sexual contact with two of the victims, and "engaged in numerous instances of sexual assault, inappropriate sexual conduct and contact with a total of three underage students of the school," the DA's office said in a press release.
His sentencing was originally scheduled for February, but was postponed a few times for medical reasons as Schraufnagel battles cancer. He was also completing a portion of an outpatient program for sexual therapy and drug and alcohol abuse treatment.
"I first want to deeply apologize. I take full responsibility for my actions. My remorse has been continual," Schraufnagel said during a court appearance on May 9. "I have marred three people. I did not intend to harm these three young men. I hope for their excellent futures."
Schraufnagel also faces a federal lawsuit in addition to the civil claims filed by Engelsher's clients.
"The hurt, the pain, the damage this man caused is continuing permanently to the kids that I represent," Engelsher said.