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February 07, 2005

Dad stymies perv mom

February 7, 2005 [New York Daily News]
By Lauren LaCapra - Daily News Writer

A Hicksville dad has been granted an order of protection against his ex-wife, a convicted sex offender, to keep her away from their two children.

Kathy Tuifel, 46, pleaded guilty on Aug. 11 to one count of second-degree rape and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. The victim was a blind 11-year-old boy she was tutoring as a teacher's aide at Hicksville Middle School.

She is currently serving six months in jail, which will be followed by 10 years' probation.

After learning that Tuifel filed a petition to relax the conditions of her probation - which could allow her to come in close proximity to her children, 13 and 15 - her ex-husband, Robert Tuifel, moved to make sure she would not be allowed to gain custody or visitation when she is released from jail next Monday.

"I want her to get the help she needs," Robert Tuifel said Friday. "She is sick, that is obvious, but I don't think my kids should be gambled with. You shouldn't play Russian roulette with anyone's lives - especially kids."

He said Kathy Tuifel calls their children twice a week and writes, but the kids haven't seen her since she's been jailed and "they don't want her coming home."

The court, which granted the order of protection Friday, will decide on Kathy Tuifel's petition tomorrow.

"The war is not over; we won one battle," said Laura Ahearn, Robert Tuifel's lawyer.

In family court Friday, Child Protective Services also assailed Tuifel for alleged neglect of her own children. In addition, the children said that Tuifel threw food at them and caused them physical harm, claims which are still being investigated by Child Protective Services.

"She's really mentally disturbed and very dangerous to her children," Ahearn said. "She's a mother, but she's also a pedophile."

In November of 2001, the first incident between Tuifel and the victim occurred, when she touched the sixth-grader's genitals in her home, prosecutors said. About a week later, a similar incident occurred in her van as the two idled near a Hicksville park.

After Tuifel and the victim had sexual intercourse in her basement in March 2002, the boy told school officials and Tuifel was arrested, prosecutors said.

Tuifel, now a registered sex offender, could have been sentenced to five to 25 years on each count had she been convicted at trial, but the prosecution accepted a plea deal to spare the victim having to testify.

Posted by Nancy at February 7, 2005 04:44 AM