A New York state high school math teacher whose wedding was slated for Friday instead spent the day at a local courthouse for allegedly raping a 16-year-old student earlier this year.
John Azabache, 31, was scheduled to exchange, “I do’s” with Amanda Rae DeLuccia, Friday, around the time he muttered those very two words to a judge inquiring whether he understood the charges against him and the terms of an order of protection mandating he steer clear from not only his now former bride-to-be and two of her relatives, but also the victim, according to The Journal News.
Donning handcuffs and a freshly pressed ensemble consisting of a blue button-down shirt and gray slacks, a clean-shaved Azabache reportedly pleaded not guilty in Ossining Town Court, where Justice Nancy Quinn Koba set bail at $50,000.
“It all just came out at the last minute,” the bride’s 92-year-old grandmother, Josephine DeLuccia told The Journal News and Lohud.com. “He always seemed like a nice guy. I don’t know what happened. You men are all alike. You stink. I hope they send him to jail forever.”
The near-centenarian added her granddaughter told her Friday morning, “Nanny, don’t worry about me. I’m strong; I’ll survive," and also shared she planned to hang at the movies with friends, rather than marry the alleged rapist. The Journal News reported most guests received the no-go concerning the wedding on Thursday evening.
“I’m brokenhearted for her,” the grandma cried. “She doesn’t deserve this. She’s such a beautiful, smart girl.”
Azabache hails from Port Chester, while DeLuccia, his ex-betrothed-to-be, makes her home in White Plains, both tony towns in Westchester County, just north of New York City.
Azabache, an Ossining High School educator, is reportedly accused of having sex with a 16-year-old female student twice between March 1 and July 1, although the crimes are said not to have taken place on school grounds or during school hours, but somewhere else within Ossining.
The alleged victim’s family tipped police to the incidents on Wednesday. The Ossining School District was alerted Thursday, according to Lohud.com, and Azabache was arrested Friday, or the day he was scheduled to be married.
Azabache was reassigned from teaching and barred from school grounds, pending the outcome of the legal process, said Ossining Superintendent Raymond Sanchez.
Tony Castro, Azabache’s lawyer, told the Journal News after Friday’s court proceeding: “I just want to note that what he’s being charged with does not involve any forcible compulsion. It involves an alleged incident with a minor, someone who is just under 17 years old.”
Asked about the wedding, Castro reportedly added: “I assumed it was called off. Frankly, that is nothing I discussed with him.”