WILTON — A Saratoga Springs School District elementary teacher was arrested Wednesday for alleged child sexual abuse involved a student she taught, police said.
Elizabeth M. Barthelmas, 48, of Plum Court, Wilton, was charged with three felony sex counts, including first-degree rape, for an alleged sexual relationship with a child younger than 13, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said she taught at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School, and met the student through her school duties.
The alleged sexual relationship occurred at her home in 2007 and 2008, when the child was no longer a student in her class, police said.
In addition to first-degree rape, Barthelmas was charged with felony counts of criminal sexual act and course of sexual conduct against a child, police said. The latter charge alleges repeated incidents of sexual abuse.
The alleged victim recently disclosed the alleged abuse, police said.
“The Sheriff’s Office informed the school administration as soon as possible and the school district was fully cooperative with the Sheriff’s Office investigation,” sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Brown said in a news release.
Barthelmas earned $55,014 in 2016, according to the SeeThroughNY website.
She was suspended with pay after the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office notified the district about this issue on Tuesday evening, according to an emailed statement from the district. She will not be permitted to be on school district property or any school district functions.
Because Barthelmas has tenure, the district has to go through a formal process with the state if it wanted to terminate her. This involves filing charges and holding a hearing with an arbitrator.
The district said it is complying with state education regulations regarding employee conduct.
“The welfare of our students is our number one priority. The district takes these charges very seriously and is fully cooperating with the investigation,” the district said in the statement.
The district referred further questions to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department.
Barthelmas also taught in the Queensbury Union Free School District, before taking a fifth-grade teaching job in the Saratoga Springs School District.
Barthelmas worked for Queensbury as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher for a total of seven years, according to Superintendent of Schools Douglas Huntley. She was employed by the district from 1994 through the 2003-2004 school year, with a couple of leaves during that period for unknown reasons.
Huntley said the state’s record retention law states that employees’ personnel records be destroyed six years after they leave the district, so he could not say whether there were any discipline issues during her employment.
Barthelmas was arraigned and sent to Saratoga County Jail for lack of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bail bond.
Police asked that anyone with information in the case contact them at 885-6761.