Ex-Ossining H.S. secretary fails to appear in federal court for lawsuit against district

The secretary accused of having an affair with a student failed to show up to testify Wednesday.

Felicita DeJesus, a former secretary at Ossining High School, is the key figure in a federal lawsuit filed by a former high school basketball star and his mother. Rahssan Simmons and his mom claim Ossining officials failed to keep Rahssan from being sexually molested by DeJesus. Simmons claims he had an affair with DeJesus beginning in 1998 when he was only 15. In the lawsuit, Simmons contends that his prospects for an NBA career were damaged by the affair.

The judge has issued an arrest warrant for DeJesus. When she is brought in to testify she is expected to invoke her Fifth Amendment right.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Ossining High School Principal Joshua Mandel testified that reports of the affair, which surfaced in January 2000, were investigated but found to be untrue. Sal Imbimbo, who was a physical education instructor at the school, also testified. He said Simmons was one of Westchester's best basketball players, but did not feel he had a future in the NBA.

School district officials and their lawyer declined to comment on the case during the trial.

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