Following trial, former Providence school gym teacher convicted of child molestation, assault

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a former Kizirian Elementary school gym teacher has been found guilty in Providence County Superior Court of molesting a minor female victim and assaulting three other minor female victims in between the years of 2014 and 2017.


On May 10, 2024, following the conclusion of a four-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Stephen P. Nugent, the jury found James Duffy (age 59) guilty of one count of second-degree child molestation and four counts of simple assault.


The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, 2024.


“Every day, parents send their children to school trusting their kids will be well-supervised and well cared for,” said Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. “For these victims and their parents, these crimes have forever impacted their lives. I commend the courage of the victims in this case for their bravery in coming forward. I thank the Providence Police Department for their outstanding and persistent work during the investigation and prosecution of this case.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on days and dates between 2014 and 2017, the defendant sexually assaulted one female victim and assaulted three female victims while he was working as a physical education teacher at Kizirian Elementary School in Providence. The incidents occurred during the students’ physical education classes and lunch periods.


“The bravery of the victims involved in these cases has been invaluable, resulting in the defendant being held accountable for his crimes,” said Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. “As always, I am grateful for the men and women of the Providence Police Department, who work tirelessly to ensure that the youth in our community are not put in harm’s way by any individual, especially those who work within our schools.”

Assistant Attorney General Ania Zielinski and Special Assistant Attorney General Taylor Matook of the Office of the Attorney General and Sergeant Brian Dyer of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.