Retired Bay Shore elementary school teacher accused of sexually abusing students faces child porn charges

Thomas Bernagozzi was arraigned on five counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

News 12 Staff

Jun 18, 2024, 5:10 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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A retired Bay Shore elementary school teacher accused of sexually abusing two students is facing new charges.
Thomas Bernagozzi was arraigned on five counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child and pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
A judge could not set bail on the new charges because Bernagozzi is not bail eligible. However, prosecutors asked the judge to revisit bail on the original indictment. It was set at $1 million cash, $2.5 million bond.
A judge had previously put the 75-year-old on supervised release with a GPS monitor.
Bernagozzi worked as a third-grade teacher at the Mary G. Clarkson Elementary School and Gardiner Manor Elementary School between 1970 and 2000. He was also employed by the Bay Shore Union Free School District until 2003.
Prosecutors said the defendant carried out a pattern of sexual abuse involving “scores” of children.
Bernagozzi was charged in connection with two alleged victims who fell within the statute of limitations. One victim says the abuse went on from 1997 to 2000, and the other says it happened between 1989 to 1991.
At least 45 other former students have filed civil lawsuits against the Bay Shore Union Free School District and Bernagozzi.


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