Former Brentwood High School teacher, Aimee Palmitessa pleads no contest to having sex with 17 year old male student- with the educator sentenced to 3 years jail.
Aimee Palmitessa, 47, entered her plea to three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse Thursday. The former chemistry teacher at Brentwood School was immediately sentenced to three years in state prison to be served in local custody.
Palmitessa — who was released on bond following her August 2017 arrest by Los Angeles police, is set to surrender May 1 to begin serving her time behind bars
Deputy D.A. Adrian Roxas of the Sex Crimes Division prosecuted the case.
Palmitessa worked at the elite school circa nine years where she met her 17-year-old victim who at one point had been a former student in one of her classes.
Prosecutors said the female educator sexually preyed on her victim during the summer of 2017- with the woman having sex with the teenage boy a number of times.
Following their encounters, prosecutors said the vicim approached authorities – with Palmitessa arrested shortly thereafter.
Aimee Palmitessa pleads no contest following suit against school.
The educator’s guilty plea and sentencing follows the school being sued for failing to protect the male student from sexual encounters with the teacher.
In the suit, filed last August, Brentwood School is accused of looking the other way, and in at least one instance, encouraging a student referred to as John Doe to pursue a relationship with his teacher.
Multiple school employees are said to have known about Palmitessa’s alleged abuse of power in its earliest stages, but rather than report it as required by law, instead told her to ‘stay away’ from the teen, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The suit claimed that the school failed to properly supervise Palmitessa and seeks damages for sexual battery, fraud and negligence.
The school previously said in a statement: ‘Despite the litigation, we sympathize with the student and family for the pain this situation has caused them,’ Head of School Mike Riera said.
The assaults on the teen are believed to have occurred between June 12 and August 11, 2017 according to ABC News.
Palmitessa was arrested on felony charges on August 18, after Doe showed explicit messages, photos and videos to his family, who then notified police, authorities said.
The teen revealed what was happening after his father checked his location using a smart phone application and found him to be at Palmitessa’s house in Hollywood rather than at football practice, the suit said.
Palmitessa was then recorded on phone calls begging the student not to share the details of their encounters, threatening him and talking about their sexual interactions, the lawsuit said.
Prior to that, the teacher was seen by other students taking Doe to a concert in August 2017.
The lawsuit states that Palmitessa ‘seduced’ Doe by becoming his advocate during a school honor board proceeding where he was set to be disciplined for being filmed singing a song containing the n-word aboard a yacht in May of 2016.
John Doe reached out to school counselor Robert Jost, after Palmitessa was seen grabbing his hands in the school’s quad in May of 2017, the lawsuit says.
Doe then confessed he loved an older woman, and admitted it was a teacher.
‘Remarkably, Mr. Jost counseled John Doe by encouraging the relationship,’ the lawsuit states, claiming that Jost brought up the relationship of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, who is 24 years his senior and his former French teacher.
‘Mr. Jost’s advice indelibly changed the course of John Doe’s life,’ the suit states, adding that Jost advised Palmitessa to ‘keep her distance’ from Doe, rather than reporting the situation.
The suit alleges others on staff at Brentwood School ‘witnessed the evolution of the relationship,’ with one female colleague advising Palmitessa to ‘stay away’ from Doe.
It’s also alleged that school officials had knowledge of another male student ‘bragging about sexual conduct’ with Palmitessa, and that he was known to be in possession of ‘nude or partially nude’ images of the teacher.
Aimee Palmitessa pleads no contest: Latest string of female predatory behavior.
School officials in California are required by state law to report suspected sexual abuse of students to the proper authorities, but no police reports were made regarding these incidents, the lawsuit says.
‘Brentwood School failed in in every way to live up to their stated mission and core values concerning our student,’ Sean Walsh, speaking on behalf of the law firm Browne George Ross, said.
Walsh was referring to the school’s stated core values, which include trust, respect, responsibility, honesty and caring.
‘None of those stated principles was afforded to our student and we wonder how many others have had their trust violated,’ he said.
Riera said the school launched its own internal investigation in September 2017, led by Julie Yanow, which resulted in Palmitessa’s separation.
The status of the lawsuit is currently unknown.
The school charges up to $40,760 a year for tuition and sits in one of Los Angeles’s most affluent neighborhoods.
Palmitessa has been charged with 12 felony counts, including seven counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts of sodomy, two counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a person under the age of 18 and one count of oral copulation of a person under 18.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains free on a posted bail of $230,000.
Aimee Palmitessa’s sentencing is the latest in a string of female teachers sexually preying on teen male boys– a trend of sexual abuse that sees no end despite the perception that males are only capable of being sexual predators.