A former public charter school music teacher teacher in the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty Monday to sexually abusing five young girls, students he groomed with money, jewelry, clothes, and in some cases, plied them with alcohol.
Jesus Concepcion, now 50 years old and a South Carolina resident, pleaded guilty to 10 total crimes against victims as young as 12. Though the case against “Mr. C” began in the summer of 2021, the charged sex crimes were committed from 2000 to 2007 at KIPP Academy Middle School, where he worked as a music teacher and orchestra instructor.
In March, the government filed a superseding indictment alleging that Concepcion enticed five students to engage in illicit sexual activity, transported four victims for the same purpose, and traveled from New York to Connecticut to abuse Victim-1 once she was in high school.
The victims attended the charter school in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
“In addition to providing the Minor Victims with gifts and special attention, JESUS CONCEPCION, a/k/a ‘Mr. C.,’ the defendant, induced the Minor Victims to engage in sexual activity with him by leading them to believe they were in a romantic relationship with him,” the indictment said, adding that Concepcion also gave four victim a cellphone and kept it a secret from the girls’ parents.
Prosecutors said that the defendant contacted the victims on those phones in various ways, including email, calls and texts. According to the indictment, Concepcion sexually abused victims in the school’s music room, auditorium, and continued abusing two victims even after they left the state of New York for high school.
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“[T]he defendant, engaged in sexual intercourse, and attempted to do so, with Minor Victim-I, Minor Victim-2, Minor Victim-3, and Minor Victim-4 in various locations, including in School-1 ‘s music room, in the back room of School-1 ‘s auditorium, in his car, at motels, and at his residences,” the indictment said. “In addition, CONCEPCION also engaged in sexual activity, and attempted to do so, with Minor Victim-1 and Minor-Victim-2, after they left School-1, at their out-of-state high schools.”
Court documents said that Concepcion on “numerous occasions” transported victims 1-4 from the school or other places in the Bronx to New Jersey motels, where he “generally instructed the Minor Victim to remain in his car while he secured a room.”
“He then returned to the car to retrieve the Minor Victim and bring her into a motel room where they would have sex,” the indictment said.
In 2007, Concepcion targeted a fifth victim, then 13 years old, and sent a barrage of text messages urging her to kiss him on the mouth, prosecutors said.
The defendant sent “hundreds of text messages of a personal nature to Minor Victim-5 […] including messages in which CONCEPCION asked Minor Victim-5 to kiss him on the mouth,” the indictment said. “CONCEPCION kissed Minor Victim-5 on the mouth at School-1.”
Concepcion now faces a maximum possible punishment of hundreds of years in prison, according to the Department of Justice:
Counts One through Four each carry a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison and a maximum term of 30 years in prison. Count Five carries a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison. CONCEPCION also pled guilty to four counts of transporting a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. Counts Six through Nine each carry a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison and a maximum term of 30 years in prison. CONCEPCION also pled guilty to Count 10, charging him with traveling with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity with a minor, which carries a maximum term of 30 years in prison.
Senior U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska set sentencing for 10 a.m. on Dec. 11.
Damian Williams, the top prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, said that Concepcion crimes were “heinous.”
“Jesus Concepcion engaged in a years-long scheme to manipulate, exploit, and sexually abuse young girls at the middle school where he taught. Concepcion abused his position of trust as the students’ teacher to lull them into a false sense of security and to then exploit them for his own sexual gratification,” U.S. Attorney Williams said in a statement. “This guilty plea is a reminder that the Southern District of New York will work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners at the FBI to hold predators like Concepcion to account for their heinous crimes.”
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