Veronica Pezdan leaves the Central Islip court April 20, 2021 following her initial arraignment. (Credit: Grant Parpan/file)
A former Shoreham-Wading River mathematics teacher who pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree rape in December will avoid extra imprison time as part of a supplication agreement .
Veronica Pezdan, who admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student, was sentenced to 10 years ’ probation Monday before Suffolk County Judge Steven Pilewski in Riverhead .
With her lawyer be her slope, Ms. Pezdan apologized to the victim ’ s family, her own family and expressed “ deep regret ” for her actions. Members of the victim ’ s family, including the boy mother and grandma, were present in the court. Ms. Pezdan besides credited her “ life-saving ” therapist who was give in the court. While the victim ’ s syndicate did not speak during the court continue, the adjunct district lawyer read a statement from the mother that said how the boy was forced to change schools after boyfriend students found out what had happened and said that “ no sum of sentencing can erase the wrong done. ”
In the statement, Melissa Grier, the ADA, said the victim ’ south class is trying to move on and grow together.
Ms. Pezdan had several members of her own class in the court, including her fiancé. Her lawyer, John LoTurco of Huntington, said Ms. Pezdan has shown significant compunction for her actions and has been “ very apologetic to the victim ’ second family. ” Ms. Pezdan told the pronounce she has started to pursue a new career .
As part of the sentence, Ms. Pezdan will have to register as a sex wrongdoer, be capable to calculator monitor, pay a surcharge of $ 1,425 within a year and the woo issued a permanent arrange of protection. She is besides prohibited from acquiring any firearms .
hush to be determined is whether Ms. Pezdan will have to register as a Level 2 or Level 1 sex wrongdoer. Level 1 is considered a depleted gamble of repeat umbrage while Level 2 is considered moderate risk. A key dispute is that Level 2 arouse offenders are required to be registered for life, whereas for Level 1 the duration is 20 years. Ms. Pezdan was 28 at the time of the sexual meeting, which occurred in March and April of 2021 .
Ms. Grier said Ms. Pezdan scored an 85 on an appraisal done to determine the sex offender level under the Sex Offender Registration Act, which equates to Level 2. Mr. LoTurco argued for a “ down passing, ” saying his client was at low risk for committing a like crime, citing how she can never teach again and will not be around children. He besides said Ms. Pezdan has a solid subscribe arrangement at family living with her fiance ’ and her parents. He said Ms. Pezdan is in an “ age-appropriate kinship with her fiancé ” and has shown a “ deep commitment to counseling. ”
He quoted a report from a psychologist the defensive structure team hired that stated Ms. Pezdan is at “ low risk to reoffend in the future. ”
Ms. Grier countered that the appraisal already takes into history the points Mr. LoTurco raised. She besides noted the family stability was already in put at the time of the crime. She said Ms. Pezdan had been with her boyfriend, now fiancé, for six years prior to when the crime took plaza.
She besides said that Ms. Pezdan sought out the inappropriate kinship and said the victim was “ confused ” and “ didn ’ thyroxine know how to feel. ”
Judge Pilewski, who recently took over the font from Judge Chris Anne Kelley, did not issue a decision on the sex wrongdoer condition and adjourned the subject for two months .
Ms. Pezdan pleaded guilty to two felony counts of third-degree rape on Dec. 8 .
She was arrested by Suffolk County Police Department Seventh Precinct detectives curtly before noon April 19, 2021, on William Floyd Parkway in Shoreham after she received a letter from the zone informing her that her employment was being terminated, according to a patrol statement attached to the expansive jury indictment .
In a statement the good afternoon of her collar, SWR overseer Gerard Poole said the teacher will no long be employed by the zone, “ effective immediately. ”
The ending followed a tip from a staff extremity about an inappropriate kinship between a teacher and student, which inaugural triggered an inner investigation, Mr. Poole had said .
Ms. Pezdan began at SWR in 2018 after having graduate St. Joseph ’ s College in Patchogue in 2017. She is a alumnus of Sachem North High School .