September 16, 2017 01:59 GMT by dailymail.co.uk

Teacher charged for unlawful sex with male student, 16

Teacher charged for unlawful sex with male student, 16

Brentwood School teacher Aimee Palmitessa, 45, was charged Friday for engaging in unlawful sex with a 16-year-old male student.

Aimee Palmitessa, the Brentwood teacher who was arrested last month for having sex with a 16-year-old student, has been charged, prosecutors announced Friday.

The 45-year-old pleaded not guilty to seven counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts separately of sodomy and sexual penetration by a foreign object of a person under the age of 18 and one count of oral copulation of a person under 18, the district attorney's office said.

She is set to appear in court again October 16. If convicted for the crimes, Palmitessa faces up to 10 years and four months behind bars.

Palmitessa was arrested August 18 and booked on felony charges after she was accused of having inappropriate relations with the unidentified male teen.

The chemistry lecturer, who works for the school that counts stars like Adam Levine and Jonah Hill among its alumni, posted bail of $230,000 but was released from the Metropolitan Detention Center the same day.

Also in late August, the teacher at the center of a Hollywood underage sex scandal failed to appear in California court to answer to a single charge of drug possession, DailyMail.com revealed at the time.

She was arrested at the Coachella music festival in April for allegedly possessing a quantity of MDMA – a party drug colloquially known as 'molly' or ecstasy.  

Chemistry professor Aimee Palmitessa, 45, was charged on Friday for unlawful sex with a 16-year-old male student of hers at Brentwood School

Chemistry professor Aimee Palmitessa, 45, was charged on Friday for unlawful sex with a 16-year-old male student of hers at Brentwood School

The 45-year-old pleaded not guilty to the criminal sex charges. She will appear in court again October 16

The 45-year-old pleaded not guilty to the criminal sex charges. She will appear in court again October 16

Chemistry professor Aimee Palmitessa, 45, was arrested on Friday morning
She was booked in on felony charges at the city¿s Metropolitan Detention Center

 Palmitessa was arrested August 18 and booked on felony charges after she was accused of inappropriate relations with the unidentified teen

Palmitessa, seen left in a Facebook photo, was also arrested at the Coachella music festival in April for allegedly possessing a quantity of MDMA

Palmitessa, seen left in a Facebook photo, was also arrested at the Coachella music festival in April for allegedly possessing a quantity of MDMA

Several famous names attended Brentwood, including alumni Patrick Schwarzenegger, 23, Adam Levine, 38, comedian Jonah Hill, 33 and socialite Talita von Fürstenberg, 18

Several famous names attended Brentwood, including alumni Patrick Schwarzenegger, 23, Adam Levine, 38, comedian Jonah Hill, 33 and socialite Talita von Fürstenberg, 18

An aerial view of the Brentwood School, where a teacher is at the center of a Hollywood underage sex scandal

An aerial view of the Brentwood School, where a teacher is at the center of a Hollywood underage sex scandal

Los Angeles Police Department sources confirmed Palmitessa's August 18 arrest to DailyMail.com and said she is being investigated over her relationship with the male student. 

Palmitessa was not available for comment following her arrest, but her partner, Vincent Bruzzese, 53, told DailyMail.com: ‘I know nothing about this. I have no comment.’

A statement from Principal Dr. Michael Riera, 61, said at the time: 'On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department informed Brentwood School that Upper School teacher, Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, had been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate relations with a student and is expected to face charges. The LAPD did not share additional information with us, such as the nature of the inappropriate relationship or the identity of the minor student. We immediately placed Dr. Palmitessa on administrative leave.

'We were shocked and distressed to receive the news of these allegations. As always, our primary concern is the safety, health, and well-being of our students. To that end, we will do everything we can to cooperate with the official police investigation.

'We appreciate the importance of transparency and will keep our school community informed to the extent we can given our concern for the student, as well as our respect for privacy laws and the integrity of the LAPD’s investigation.'

Palmitessa has been employed at Brentwood School, which charges up to $40,760 a year for tuition, since September 2010.

Vicente Bruzzese leaves his house on Saturday after his partner Aimee Palmitessa was arrested for sex with a minor

Vicente Bruzzese leaves his house on Saturday after his partner Aimee Palmitessa was arrested for sex with a minor

Bruzzese, 53, told DailyMail.com: 'I know nothing about this. I have no comment'

Bruzzese, 53, told DailyMail.com: 'I know nothing about this. I have no comment'

Bruzzese was seen leaving his home Saturday following Palmitessa's arrest. Palmitessa holds a degree in biology from Syracuse University and later studied biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Bruzzese was seen leaving his home Saturday following Palmitessa's arrest. Palmitessa holds a degree in biology from Syracuse University and later studied biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

The school sits in one of LA’s ritziest neighborhoods and is famous for attracting celebrity parents, among them Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, whose son Liam, 16, is a pupil there. Reese Witherspoon's daughter Ava, 17, whose father is Ryan Phillippe also attends.

Other famous alumni include Patrick Schwarzenegger, 23, whose parents are former California governor Arnold, 70, and his ex-wife Maria Shriver, 61.

The school has also seen Boy Meets World actor Ben Savage, 36, and socialite Talita von Fürstenberg, 18.

The educational establishment celebrates its famous former faces on its website, providing links to interviews with Levine and Hill among others, and boasting ‘[Brentwood] alumni go everywhere’.

'It all depends on chemistry': News of Palmitessa's employment was announced in campus publication, Blue Toad in 2010

'It all depends on chemistry': News of Palmitessa's employment was announced in campus publication, Blue Toad in 2010

Principal Riera, who styles himself to students and parents as Dr. Mike, is also no stranger to the small screen and has had his books featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

During a break from teaching in the late 90s and early noughties, he worked as parenting correspondent on the CBS Saturday Early Show and hosted a daily Sirius Satellite Radio show called Family Talk with Dr. Mike.

Raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, Palmitessa holds a degree in biology from Syracuse University and later studied biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

She was awarded a PHD in biochemistry and molecular biology by Thomas Jefferson University, also in Philadelphia, and wrote a paper on arresting the ageing process as part of her research work.

Prior to moving to Los Angeles, she held a teaching post at Pennsylvania State Abingdon University before moving west and taking on roles at UCLA and the Academy of Couture Art in West Hollywood.

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, 38, also attended the school
Famous alumni include Patrick Schwarzenegger, 23, (pictured) whose parents are former California governor Arnold, 70, and his ex-wife Maria Shriver, 61

Famous alumni include Patrick Schwarzenegger, 23, whose parents are former California governor Arnold, 70, and his ex-wife Maria Shriver, 61, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, 38

Police Headquarters where Palmitessa was taken and released from after being arrested 

Police Headquarters where Palmitessa was taken and released from after being arrested 

She joined Brentwood School in 2010 as a chemistry teacher, with news of her employment announced in campus publication, Blue Toad.

In it, she discusses her love of chemistry, telling students: ‘I am just consistently amazed at the intricacies of life as we know it and how it all depends on chemistry.’

STATEMENT FROM BRENTWOOD SCHOOL

From Dr. Mike Riera, Head of School 

'On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department informed Brentwood School that Upper School teacher, Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, had been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate relations with a student and is expected to face charges. The LAPD did not share additional information with us, such as the nature of the inappropriate relationship or the identity of the minor student. We immediately placed Dr. Palmitessa on administrative leave.

We were shocked and distressed to receive the news of these allegations. As always, our primary concern is the safety, health, and well-being of our students. To that end, we will do everything we can to cooperate with the official police investigation.

We appreciate the importance of transparency and will keep our school community informed to the extent we can given our concern for the student, as well as our respect for privacy laws and the integrity of the LAPD’s investigation.' 

 

Of her decision to move into teaching, she added: ‘I finally decided to try and do something that combined my interests and got me away from staring into a microscope for 10 hours a day, seven days a week.’

Speaking about the school itself, Palmitessa said: ‘The campus is beautiful, the faculty are wonderful and the students are motivated and intelligent.

‘It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Brentwood community.’

Since then, Palmitessa appears to have thrown herself into campus life; regularly taking part in school events and academic competitions.

In 2013, she mentored Brentwood student David Zimmerman to a second place finish in the California State Science Fair senior microbiology contest.

And in June this year, she played the role of advisor to a group of Brentwood pupils taking part in a ‘hackathon’ technology challenge at UCLA.

Outside of school, Palmitessa appears to enjoy an active social life, with friends putting photos of nights out in Venice Beach on their social media profiles.

Her academic biography lists her hobbies as cooking, traveling, bikram yoga, spinning and listening to music. 

Records seen by DailyMail.com reveal that Friday’s arrest is not Palmitessa’s only brush with the law. 

In April, the 45-year-old was collared for possession of a controlled substance by California police in Indio – close to Palm Springs and approximately 132 miles from LA.

According to the complaint, the science professor was arrested at an address in the city and found to be in possession of MDMA – a party drug known colloquially as ‘molly’.

A copy of the citation, exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, reveals a court case over the incident is pending, with the glamorous blonde due to appear in front of a judge over the misdemeanor drug charges on August 22. 

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