BELLPORT - A former Bellport High School history teacher and lacrosse coach was arrested today after being accused of having a yearlong sexual relationship with a teenage student.
John Elsalam, 26, was arraigned today on rape and criminal sex act charges. He allegedly engaged in a relationship with a 16-year-old girl who was in one of his classes at the high school.
The girl has hired an attorney and is now suing the South Country Central School District. Her suit claims that teachers, staff and administrators at Bellport High School looked the other way as their relationship developed over the 2011-12 school year.
The girl's lawyer, Jeffrey Brown, says his client was an impressionable, underage female. He also suggests that teachers in the school openly commented on the fact that Elsalam and the girl were in a relationship.
The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages. News 12 Long Island has learned that the girl is now being home-schooled.
Elsalam was a tenured teacher, but is no longer employed at the school. His attorney declined to comment in court today.