Bellport High School Teacher Jonathan Elsalam Accused of Seducing Student
WABC reports that 26-year-old Jonathan Elsalam, who taught history at Bellport High School in Bellport, has been charged with having an illicit sexual relationship with a 16-year-old 11th grade student. The alleged affair lasted for nearly the entire 2011-2012 school year, police say.
Elsalam was arraigned on Monday on rape and criminal sex act charges.
News 12 Long Island reports that Elsalam’s alleged victim has hired an attorney and is suing the South Country Central School District. The lawsuit claims that teachers, staff and administrators at Bellport High School turned a blind eye toward the illicit relationship between teacher and student.
Jeffrey Brown, the girl’s lawyer, says his client was vulnerable and exploited. He also believes that teachers in the school openly commented on the alleged affair.
“She was a young impressionable underage female. He seized the moment, took advantage of it, and she thought there was something going on that meant something, and it was clear that she was misguided and misled,” Brown told WABC.
The girl, who is now being home schooled, is seeking $10 million in damages.
BHS student Sarah Barry told WABC that Elsalam would “flirt” and that rumors about the alleged relationship with the 16-year-old girl circulated around the school.
“I think it was just really stupid of him because he threw away his job, his career everything in life, and it’s just something really stupid that he did,” Barry said.