Former Long Island Elementary School Teacher Accused Of Sex Abuse And Sodomy

A retired educator from Long Island, New York, has been detained and accused of sexually abusing pupils at the primary school where he spent many years teaching.

Former Long Island Elementary School Teacher Accused Of Sex Abuse And Sodomy

The 76-year-old Babylonian Thomas Bernagozzi was charged on felony accusations of sodomy and sexual behaviour against a child on Thursday in Suffolk District Court in Central Islip.

According to the prosecution, Bernagozzi taught third grade in the Bay Shore public school system from 1970 to 2000, when the accusations were brought.

According to two victims, he mistreated them between the years of 1989 and 1991 and between the years of 1997 and 2000.

Following the enactment of a state statute in 2019 that permits anyone alleging to have been abused as a youngster to launch a civil case up until the age of 55, Bernagozzi is also facing 45 civil claims brought on behalf of his former students.

According to the prosecution, Bernagozzi was “revered” by both parents and instructors. He oversaw the school’s plays and after-school activities, and he frequently brought kid-sized groups of people to nearby beaches and swimming pools as well as Broadway productions and athletic events.

“The sheer magnitude of what this defendant is alleged to have committed is astounding,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement following the arraignment. “This defendant allegedly betrayed the trust of his students, their families, and the community.”

The Bay Shore Union Free School District, which is also included in the civil lawsuits brought by former students, is run by Steven Maloney. He did not reply to an email requesting comment on Friday. However, he claimed that the school system was working with law authorities and that they didn’t know anything more about the situation in a statement that was put up on the district website.

“This former employee has not been affiliated with the District since 2000,” Maloney wrote.

Bernagozzi is scheduled to appear in court again on December 26. He was released on Thursday without posting bail but under GPS tracking. After the appearance, he remained silent, and when his attorney was contacted via email on Friday to request comment, he failed to reply.

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