A teacher at an elite private school in Los Angeles has been arrested and charged with felony statutory rape, according to local CBS affiliate channel 2.
Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, 45, was arrested Friday following allegations that she had sex with a 16-year-old student at The Brentwood School, where she teaches science. She was placed on administrative leave following her arrest.
A statement on The Brentwood School’s Facebook page said, "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.”
The school opened in 1972 and is one of the state’s highest-ranked schools, as well one of its most expensive, according to The Los Angeles Times. Tuitions at the kindergarten through 12th grade school range from $34,460 to $40,760 and its celebrity alumni include actor Jonah Hill and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine.
Dr. Aimee Palmitessa has a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Thomas Jefferson University and formerly was a teacher at Penn State Abington. Her profile at the Journal Of Biological Chemistry lists her nonscientific interests as “cooking, eating chocolate, and traveling.”
Police have yet to release any further details regarding the charges or arrest. According to Head of School Mike Riera, “The LAPD did not share additional information with us, such as the nature of the inappropriate relationship or the identity of the minor student.” Palmitessa was held on $230,000 bail but has since been released.
[Photo: Journal Of Biological Chemistry]