Queens Lawmakers on the Move August 26, 2020

Queens County City Council News

DA Katz Comments on Karate Teacher Sentenced to Prison for Raping 12-Year-Old Student

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Tuesday that Hector Quinchi, of Woodside, Queens has been sentenced to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to rape and other charges. 

The 37-year-old martial arts instructor had repeated sexual contact with an underage victim between August and October 2019 in the Tae Kwon Do studio where he taught, the release said.

“This defendant was supposed to teach this youngster how to defend herself but he was the one from whom she needed protection. He manipulated a child too young to consent to sex. The Court has sentenced him to prison for his reprehensible actions. My Office will not tolerate adults who abuse their positions of trust to victimize children,” Katz said. 

In July, Quinchi pleaded guilty to rape in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter. On Tuesday morning, Justice Buchter sentenced the defendant to 7 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years post release supervision. The defendant will also be required to register as a sex offender after his release.

According to the charges, the defendant taught at Hugo’s Tae Kwon Do Studio on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, Queens, where the 12-year-old took karate lessons. On multiple occasions in August 2019, the defendant had sexual contact with the victim. He touched her intimately, kissed her and in October 2019, had sexual intercourse with her.

The defendant turned himself in to police soon after learning the youngster had told her parents about the abuse. 

Sanders Hosts Census Outreach Event

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Edgemere, Bayswater, Arverne and Far Rockaway) partnered with a number of community organizations to reach out to residents about the 2020 Census after NYC Census 2020 reported that South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and South Jamaica were communities with low participation.

“Ensuring a more accurate count is so important because census numbers will decide how precious federal funds will be allocated annually for programs and services including education, housing, community development, healthcare, job training and services for the elderly,” Senator Sanders said. “The more people who participate in the 2020 Census, the better our communities will be and the more equitable federal dollars will be distributed.”

The event took place at Bethel Gospel Tabernacle Church in Jamaica on August 22. He distributed sanitizers, masks and food while representatives and volunteers assisted constituents with onsite sign-up for the 2020 Census. It was the second in a series of events being conducted by Sanders to increase census numbers. 

Mayor Announces School Air Safety Measures

Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza announced on Tuesday a multi-pronged approach to addressing, monitoring, and reporting air quality and ventilation in every building by the first day of school. 

“With our record-low infection rates, New York City is the safest city in America,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The verdict is clear: our plan to reopen schools is the strongest in the country and among the most rigorous in the world. I want all students and staff to enter our school buildings this fall with full reassurance that they will be safe.”

Beginning Tuesday, every space occupied by students, teachers and staff in a school building will be inspected by a citywide team of independent professional engineers to assess each space and determine adequate ventilation. Inspection criteria and standards were developed based on a thorough review of guidance from the CDC and WHO, as well as expert review by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Building inspection results will be publicly shared on a rolling basis beginning this week through Friday, September 4. 

The DOE will use the assessments to ensure sufficient ventilation by the first day of school. In instances where that is not possible, the room or building will not be used until repairs can be made.