A teacher at an elite private high school in Los Angeles has been accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student, Fox News reported Sunday.
Los Angeles police spokesman Tony Im told FOX on Sunday that Aimee Palmitessa was arrested Friday and charged with statutory rape. She taught biology at Brentwood School and had previously taught at Penn State Abington. She has a Ph.D. in chemistry and molecular biology.
The L.A. Times reported that the student in question was 16.
The 45-year-old Palmitessa is being held on $230,000 bail according to the website of the L.A. Sheriff’s Office.
Head of Brentwood School, Mike Riera said school officials were in disbelief when they heard the news and felt utterly distressed.
“On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department informed Brentwood School that Upper School teacher, Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, had been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate relations with a student and is expected to face charges,” Riera said in a statement posted on the school’s website Sunday afternoon.
“The LAPD did not share additional information with us, such as the nature of the inappropriate relationship or the identity of the minor student,” he said.
Brentwood is a highly prestigious school in the L.A. area, with attendees such as Harrison Ford’s child and Reese Witherspoon’s daughter, Ava. Famous alumni include Patrick Schwarzenegger, 23, whose parents are former California governor Arnold, 70, and his ex-wife Maria Shriver, 61, and Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine, 38. Also, comedian Jonah Hill, 33, “Boy Meets World” actor Ben Savage, 36, and socialite Talita von Fürstenberg, 18, attended the school, according to the Daily Mail.
“As always, our primary concern is the safety, health and well-being of our students,” Riera said. “To that end, we will do everything we can to cooperate with the official police investigation.”
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