A music teacher on Long Island has been indicted by a grand jury on accusations of inappropriate contact with 14 elementary school children.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Wednesday that 47-year-old John Benstock, of Bayville, was charged with 15 felony counts 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.
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 younger than 11 years old when the alleged events occurred.
After Benstock was arrested on misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child on May 9, the Locust Valley School District reassigned him to his home, with pay. Additional students came forward with claims of sexual abuse after his arrest, prosecutors said.
“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.”
Benstock’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, didn’t immediately return a request for a comment. Bail was set at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash. Benstock is due back in court July 15.
He faces up to seven years in prison for each felony count, if convicted.