No Jail Time for LI Music Teacher in Child Sex Abuse Case

School & Education, Local News, Crime

A Long Island music teacher involved in child sex abuse and endangerment will lose his teaching license, go on probation and have to register as ...

John E. Benstock, 49, a former music teacher of the Locust Valley School District has pleaded guilty to sex abuse and endangering children, but he will serve no jail time.

On Monday, Benstock admitted to inappropriate behavior with female students between 2000 and 2011 where he had his students touch his genitals with a stringed instrument bow. The incidents occurred when he held private music lessons in school and at students’ homes while teaching at Locust Valley Intermediate School and Bayville Intermediate School, according to Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Silvia Finkelstein.

Benstock pleaded guilty to four counts of sex abuse and to 10 counts of endangerment. He will face six years of probation and lose his teaching license. He is also required to register as a level one sex offender for 20 years.

Benstock was indicted in July 2011 on 31 counts related to 14 students. The four victims of sexual abuse were female and it was conducted in front of 10 other children – some as young as 7. One of the 10 endangerment counts involved a boy.

All parents or guardians of the 14 children involved signed off on the plea deal. The prosecutor also noted Benstock allowed the children to touch him, but had not been accused of touching the children in a sexual manner.

Under this plea deal, the state can keep a watchful eye on Benstock. There would not be such a guarantee if Benstock served jail time, according to Finkelstein.

Benstock faces sentencing on May 3.



Elizabeth Mongillo Feb 27th, 2013 07:57 AM

This is so gross. I can't imagine a teacher being allowed to ask students over to their house for "private lessons" for such a long period of time. But, the worst part of this is the parents who signed the no jail plea deal! What is wrong with them?

Rebecca Feb 27th, 2013 08:59 AM

No jail time! If I was one of those parents there is no way I would sign a plea deal! What is wrong with them?

chandra Feb 27th, 2013 09:01 AM

I can not believe that nobody knew this was going on for 10 years. And to let him go without any jail time? What? 
He should be locked away with the rest of the child molesters and never see sunlight again.

Charles Hollie Feb 27th, 2013 09:34 AM

While I do not share the same sentiments of the other comments here, I do see the frustration. As a teacher I have known others who have taken advantage of their authority to do these disgusting things. I would not want any of them put in jail forever, they do need mental help and perhaps time to think about their problems. 

James Feb 27th, 2013 09:35 AM

This guy should be taken out in front of the entire school and let everyone beat him with the violin bow. How gross. 

Jackie Feb 27th, 2013 10:01 AM

This is not right. This man should not be allowed to walk free after his actions for a decade. The parents should be ashamed of themselves for thinking so little of their children.

Ramon Feb 27th, 2013 10:45 AM

So this guy goes walking free without any type of jail sentence? What? 
I just get angry thinking that all this guy has to do is register as a sex offender. Big deal. There's lots of them still working, living, and doing the things they use to do. Put them all in jail.

Liz Feb 27th, 2013 11:08 AM

I don't think that it is right for people to start talking hatred towards this guy. If he is in jail he will get very little help. If he is out he can get the help  and support he needs. 

Linnea Feb 27th, 2013 11:30 AM

This guy should be in jail! Not out walking the streets where he can do this to other kids. 

David Joseph Feb 27th, 2013 11:46 AM

Ditto on Linnea's comment and what the h@ll is wrong with Liz. This guy should never, ever be allowed to walk the streets again. 

Maria Gresham Feb 28th, 2013 08:14 AM

How can any parent sign off on a no jail plea deal when their child is the one that has been scarred by the actions of this man? I can't believe it. I get angry the more I think about it.

Clayton Feb 28th, 2013 08:15 AM

This is quite typical of our country today. Do what you want. Little consequence. Don't make anyone feel bad unless they are a victim. 
Very embarrassed by everyone involved in this situation for allowing this sick person to walk the streets again.

Thomas Council Feb 28th, 2013 02:36 PM

Clayton, how can you say that? This guy does have consequences coming to him. He can not teach and is on probation. He has to register as a sex offender so that his life is basically over as far as normalcy goes. 
What do you want? A lynch mob? 

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