Crime Watch

Sex offender sentenced to two years

Former District 13 teacher pleads guilty in Nassau


Daniel Rothbard, a former Valley Stream elementary school teacher and Merrick resident, was sentenced by Nassau County Court Judge Joseph Calabrese to two years in jail on July 13 after he had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of committing a criminal sexual act with a minor.

Rothbard has already spent 11 months in a Suffolk County jail for statutory rape, which will count as time served toward his Nassau sentence. Rothbard's lawyer, Todd Greenberg, said he expects that his client will be released from jail in four months for good behavior.

The former math specialist in Valley Stream School District 13 and longtime camp counselor was arrested in Suffolk County on July 21 last year when he was discovered in a "partial state of undress" in his car with a 15-year-old-girl. The then 28-year-old Rothbard allegedly told the girl that he was 17 when he met her using a MySpace account, calling himself "DJ" or "D to the J."

A police investigation into Rothbard's online activities led to a second arrest in Nassau County on Sept. 3, 2009, when he was accused of forcing a 13-year-old girl from Suffolk to engage in oral sex in his Meadowbrook Avenue home with another girl present.

Rothbard pleaded guilty to statutory rape in Suffolk last year and was handed a sentence of six months incarceration and 10 years probation. The harsher Nassau sentence was determined by the age of his victims, officials said. Rothbard entered into a plea agreement with the Nassau County District Attorney's Office, which, according to Greenberg, took into account positive statements from a former employer. Had Rothbard gone to trial, he would have faced a sentence of seven years on each D felony charge.

In a statement Greenberg made on behalf of Rothbard before Judge Calabrese, he said Rothbard is "sincerely hoping and praying that [his victims] are not traumatized for the rest of their lives."

During sentencing, Calabrese said to Rothbard, "I hope you see the harm that you've done and you won't be back here in this capacity again."

Rothbard hung his head low and declined to speak on his own behalf. His mother and father watched silently from the front row and declined to speak with reporters.

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