A former Parents’ Association head at a posh Midtown preschool says there’s something “fishy” about allegations that a burly intern sexually abused 13 of its young students.
Nancy Brenner, whose son attended The International Preschools from 1993-97, echoed a letter sent last weekend by its director asserting school policy was to never leave interns alone with the students.
“There is no minute when there is only one teacher in the room,” Brenner said Friday. “I can’t visualize the logistics of a guy in a very concentrated period rubbing himself against 13 kids.
“I’m not saying it didn’t (happen), and I wouldn’t want kids to be harmed,” she said. “But there’s just something about this.”
Authorities said the victims allegedly abused by Malthe Thomsen were boys and girls, all ages 4 and 5.
A teaching assistant at the school that caters to wealthy students, including those tied to the United Nations, reported the alleged abuse to police on May 27 and to school administrators three days later. A school investigation later cleared Thomsen.
The woman who reported Thomsen to officials at the upscale school on E. 45th St. was fired in early June, a source told the Daily News.
“While it is not appropriate to discuss specific personnel decisions, the school can affirmatively state the termination of an assistant teacher there was not because that teacher may have raised allegations against Malthe,” spokeswoman Marcia Horowitz said in a statement.
No one else reported the 6-foot-3, 280-pound native of Denmark, according to his lawyers and a July 2 letter from the school. They added that a monitor was in the room during the time of the alleged abuse and found nothing wrong.
One of the lawyers, Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, said Thomsen’s accuser filed various complaints against other teachers — though not of this nature — and was fired “because she caused so much drama over the years.”
The teaching assistant couldn’t be reached Friday.
Thomsen was charged with 15 counts of first-degree sexual abuse and has been ordered held without bail. A judge, partly based on a confession, said there was probable cause to believe Thomsen committed the crimes. The suspect was ordered held without bail.
The school, founded in 1963, is now fully cooperating with the Manhattan district attorney in the investigation.
Parents of the current students were told in a June 29 letter from school director Donna Cohen that school staff “learned nothing to indicate that (Thomsen) was ever alone with children.”
Thomsen was arrested June 27 after he was accused of sexually abusing the students in various ways between May 27 and June 4. According to authorities, he placed the hands of nine kids on his genitals over his clothing.
Another three children had their buttocks rubbed by the teacher, while a 13th victim had his head placed against the intern’s clothed crotch on three occasions, officials said.
Prosecutors were given 45 days to make their case against Thomsen after Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Gilbert Hong heard the suspect’s alleged confession in an hour-long interview with investigators.
Residents of the East Harlem apartment where Thomsen was living were appalled by his arrest.
“Little kids?” asked Chris Hurtado, 40. “How can you?”
With Thomas Tracy