Long Island News
LI teacher pleads not guilty to abusing 14 kids
MINEOLA (WABC) -- A Long Island music teacher pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he had inappropriate sexual contact with 14 children.
John Benstock, 47, was arraigned Wednesday on a 31-count indictment. His attorney said he was expected to post $250,000 bail.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said the allegations date back 11 years. Benstock was arrested in May on a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment involving one child. A grand jury later indicted him on charges involving 13 other children.
The Locust Valley teacher has been suspended until the case is resolved.
Attorney Chad Seigel suggested the victims were not properly questioned and cautioned against a rush to judgment. He added that Benstock has supporters in the community and among colleagues.
Benstock, who lives in Bayville, is charged with 15 felony counts of course of sexual contact against a child, two felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse and 14 misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
He faces up to seven years in prison for each felony count.
Rice said that as early as 2000, Benstock engaged in inappropriate contact with students in orchestra classes at two Locust Valley elementary schools and during private lessons in the students' homes. All of the children were under 11 years old when the charged events occurred.
"Parents trusted this defendant to teach their children music, but he abused these innocent kids for his own sick pleasure," Rice said. "My office will aggressively prosecute this case to make sure this defendant never puts another child at risk again."
Anyone with information regarding additional victims is encouraged to contact the Nassau County Police Department Special Victims Squad at (516) 573-4022.
long island, teacher, teacher arrested, sex crime, long island news
- Snowstorm moves into New York area 15 min ago
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- iWitness Photos and Videos 16 min ago
- Photos: Viewer snow storm pictures 16 min ago
- Photos: AccuWeather Forecast in pictures
- NJ Transit delays due to problems on Portal Bridge
- 'Snow Alert' issued for New York City 30 min ago
- New Jersey getting hit with another dose of snow 45 min ago
- LIRR preparing for snow, ice
- World leaders, South Africans honor Mandela at memorial 39 min ago
- Woman beaten up, robbed on Harlem subway platform
- Port Authority relocating owls that are threat to planes
- Homeless shelter charity and giving tips
- 'Snow Alert' issued for New York City
30 min ago
- Snowstorm moves into New York area
15 min ago