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Teacher resigns in plea deal on child porn

Joseph J. Ciminelli resigned from his job as a mathematics teacher at Buffalo's Grover Cleveland High School after accepting a plea deal in a child pornography case, prosecutors said Friday.

Ciminelli, 51, pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to possession of a sexual performance by a child.

He had been on paid leave since October after being charged with a child pornography offense.

As part of the plea arrangement, Roseanne Eimer Johnson, chief of the Erie County district attorney's Sexual Assault Bureau, said Ciminelli had to resign from his teaching job immediately and agree to surrender his state teacher's certificate to her by March 3.

Ciminelli, of Angle Road, West Seneca, remains free on his own recognizance, with sentencing set for March 24. Buscaglia agreed to place him on 10 years' probation.

Johnson said that once she gets Ciminelli's teacher's certificate, she will forward it to the state Education Department in Albany to ensure he no longer can seek a teaching post.

She said Ciminelli, who agreed to plead guilty to the low-level felony charge to avoid an indictment on higher charges, apparently had been downloading child pornography to his home computer from the Internet.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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