Long Island teacher acquitted of rape in student sex case

February 26, 2014 5:09:02 AM PST
A former Long Island high school history teacher was acquitted of rape charges involving a 16-year-old student Tuesday, but was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jonathan Elsalam won't have to register as a sex offender for having sex with an underage student, but he could still face up to a year in jail when he's sentenced in May.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said he was surprised by the verdict, after the victim detailed several sexual encounters in her testimony.

The defense attorney was apparently successfully able to argue that the girl's recollection was vague and that she pursued the charges only after the family filed a lawsuit against the school district.

The indictment alleged Elsalam had sexual relations with a teenage female between December 2011 and May 8, 2012.

The South Country Central School District removed Elsalam from his Bellport High School classroom and coaching duties in October of 2012.

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