Shoreham, New York: A 28-year-old part-time high school teacher was arrested yesterday after investigators determined that she had been engaging in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student over the previous two months.
Veronica Pezdan, a math teacher at Soreham-Wading River Highschool has been charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of third-degree rape.
Represented by John LoTurco, Pezdan made her first appearance in court today and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges against her.
“What we know right now is there is the word of a student against the word of a teacher,” Turco stated outside the courtroom according to the Riverhead News-Review. “We will investigate these charges thoroughly and we will scrutinize the allegations completely. We will vigorously defend our client from these allegations.”
Pezdan was released on her own recognizance by Judge James Saladino, but will be subject to GPS monitoring. She is due back in court on April 23.
According to News 12 the investigation was launched by the school district after a staff member came forward with a tip. The district then contacted the Police Department's Special Victims Section.
"The Administration and Board of Education are deeply concerned about these allegation," Gerald Poole, the school's superintendent said in a statement. "Please be assured that the District does not tolerate and condemns such behaviors. The district is fully cooperating with authorities."
Pezdan began working for the district in 2018 and passed all requisite background checks.
Poole stated that Pezdan will no longer be employed by the district "effective immediately."