Trial begins for ex-Bellport teacher, Jonathan Elsalam, accused of having sex with teen

The rape trial of a former Bellport High School teacher and coach accused of having sex with a former student got underway today.



Prosecutors say Jonathan Elsalam had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl between December 2011 and May 2012. Elsalam faces seven sex crimes charges.



Prosecutors say they have evidence implicating the 28-year-old, including text messages confiscated by Principal Timothy Hogan. Hogan testified today that the teenager became upset while discussing her relationship with Elsalam.



Also called to the stand today was the alleged victim's best friend, who appeared visibly shaken during her testimony, and seemed concerned about the girl's well-being.



Elsalam pleaded not guilty, and his attorney told News 12 that the trial may show that Elsalam made poor choices, but he insists his client is innocent.



The South Country Central School District removed Elsalam from his teaching and coaching duties in October 2012.



The trial is expected to resume tomorrow morning.


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."