Long Island Elementary School Teacher Accused of Inappropriate Contact With Student

A teacher on Long Island is accused of having inappropriate contact with several students at an elementary school, police and school officials say.

John Joseph Finnegan Jr., 51, of Island Park, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Nassau County police.

Police say Finnegan was a teacher at Jackson Annex Elementary School in Hempstead when he allegedly inappropriately touched at least one 10-year-old student during an after school program. Cops added that two other students also reported inappropriate behavior.

The superintendent said Finnegan was pulled from the classroom immediately after the students made their allegations, and he remains on paid leave. 

Hempstead Public Schools released a letter to parents saying “the District will protect the students who have come forward.” 

One parent, Rafael Tejada, told News 4 he'd complained in vain about Finnegan to Hempstead school officials earlier this year after Finnegan allegedly grabbed his son's head in art class.

"He should never have touched my son or anyone else's child," said Tejada. "I kind of figured something was up with that guy." 

Finnegan's attorney called the allegations "preposterous," adding "I have no doubt he will be vindicated." 

The investigation is ongoing.

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