2007_03_schooldesk.jpgThe sex trial that almost had director Steven Soderbergh as a juror heard testimony from one of the prosecution's star witnesses. The Manhattan DA's office says that former Montessori school principal Lina Sinha had affairs with two very underage male students. One of the victims, now a 24-year-old police officer, testified that Sinha kissed him when he was upset after losing an academic competition in 1995. He was 13 at the time, while Sinha was 29; the officer testified, "I was very sad, and Lina kissed me on the mouth" in her school office.

The relationship allegedly continued for years until the officer broke it off in 2004. (Prosecutors noted that Sinha performed oral sex on him for the first time in 1996 and then had intercourse with him for his 15th birthday.) They say the spurned Sinha called the Civilian Complaint Review Board to accuse him of rape and threatening her, which led to the officer's confession and Sinha's 2005 arrest.

Sinha's lawyer Gerald Shargel claims their relationship began when he was of legal age and that her calls to the CCRB were just her way of acting out when she realized he had been seeing another woman. As for the prosecution's claim that a 34-year-old Sinha also seduced a 12-year-old in 2001, because she missed the other victim, Shargel says the second victim changed his story after his mom moved to sue Sinha.

Sinha, who is charged with statutory rape and sodomy, is out on $50,000 bail.