A substitute teacher and assistant coach for both the Eastport South Manor and Hampton Bays school districts pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl at one of the schools, officials have confirmed.
Allan Concepcion, 38, of Mt. Sinai was arrested at his home Tuesday after authorities said he had sex with an unidentified 16-year-old student, believed to be from the Eastport South Manor district, earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Judge G. Ann Spelman set bail for Mr. Concepcion at $5,000 cash or $15,000 bond. According to attorney Peter Stein of the Smithtown law firm Stein & Stein, who is representing Mr. Concepcion, his client has posted bail and been released from custody. His is scheduled to return to court before Judge Spelman on Friday, May 3.
Mr. Concepcion has been charged with one count each of third-degree rape, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, according to police. He was held overnight at the 7th Precinct in Shirley and was arraigned Wednesday at the First District Court in Central Islip.
According to court documents, the incident took place on January 30, though they do not say where. Suffolk County Police have not explained why it took three months to make an arrest.
Calls left at Mr. Concepcion’s house were not returned.
Police said they arrested him following an investigation that was conducted by detectives with the Special Victims Section.
In addition to serving as a substitute teacher, Mr. Concepcion is also the junior varsity girls volleyball coach at ESM. Additionally, he was employed as a substitute teacher and girls gymnastics coach at the Hampton Bays Middle School, according to authorities. Mr. Concepcion is also an assistant coach with the Long Island Fury, a traveling girls volleyball team, police said.
“He is a fine young man who has a wonderful family,” said Mr. Stein, who noted that the alleged victim is now 17. “He has never had any contact with the criminal justice system at all. I think, in the end, justice will prevail.”
Details of the investigation are sketchy. Mr. Stein said the investigation was launched after police received a call from the victim’s social worker. Suffolk County Police have declined to share any other information.
“It is a serious allegation, but it is only an allegation at this point,” Mr. Stein said. “And our system provides that people are presumed innocent. It is the beginning of a long process.”
In a statement released on Tuesday, Eastport South Manor Schools Superintendent Mark Nocero said district officials learned of the arrest earlier that day. Mr. Nocero said Mr. Concepcion has served only as a substitute at the junior-senior high school on Moriches-Middle Island Road three separate times, and is now barred from visiting school grounds.
“The district is committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students,” Mr. Nocero wrote. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities. Due to the ongoing police investigation into this matter, the district cannot release additional details.”
On Wednesday morning, Hampton Bays Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen said Mr. Concepcion had been employed by the district part-time since 2009 as a substitute teacher and classroom aide. For the current school year, he has been employed only as an assistant coach for the middle school girls gymnastics team, he said.
Mr. Clemensen also noted that, prior to Tuesday’s arrest, no complaints had been filed with his office against Mr. Concepcion.
“The district is appalled and disturbed by these allegations and will cooperate, as necessary, with law enforcement authorities during their investigation,” Mr. Clemensen wrote in a prepared statement posted on the district website. “The safety and well-being of our students is our utmost priority.
“It is important to know that Mr. Concepcion has been relieved of his responsibilities related to students pending the adjudication of this matter,” he continued.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Clemensen stressed that student safety remains a priority for his district.
“We remained focused on teaching and learning every day in the school—that’s our priority,” he said. “We have to remain focused on keeping kids safe and keeping kids learning.”