5th grade teacher accused of having sexual relationship with a child

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department arrested a current fifth-grade teacher at the Dorothy Nolan Elementary School after they said she had a sexual relationship with an underage child.

Elizabeth Barthelmas, 48, of Wilton, is accused of having the relationship with the child, who was under the age of 13, in 2007 and 2008. The child had been a student in Barthelmas’s classroom prior to the inappropriate relationship starting.

Police said all of the crimes are believed to have occurred at Barthlemas’s home on Plum Court in Wilton.

Barthelmas was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree rape, sexual conduct against a child, and first-degree criminal sexual act.

“Each charge is a B felony, which carries an eight to 25 year sentence,” Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said.

Barthelmas was hired by Saratoga Springs schools in 2005.

The Saratoga City School District released the following statement:

On June 14, 2017, a Saratoga Springs City School District employee, Elizabeth Barthelmas, a teacher at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School was arrested by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department. These charges stem from an allegation of inappropriate conduct by the employee in 2007 and 2008 with a minor child.

The Saratoga County Sherriff’s Department notified the District about this issue on the evening of June 13. Ms. Barthelmas was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. During her leave, she will not be permitted to be on school district property or attend any school district functions.  In addition, the District is complying with the New York State Education Department Regulations related to 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 matter is being handled by the Saratoga County Sherriff’s Department and any further questions or information should be directed to them at 518-885-6761.”

 

Prior to teaching in Saratoga, Barthelmas was a teacher in the Queensbury Union Free School District. Officials in Queensbury said she was a fourth and fifth grade teacher at the intermediate school between 1994 and 2004.

 

The news of her arrest was shocking to parents at Dorothy Nolan.

“I’ve never felt that this school wasn’t a safe place,” Jeanne Davis said.

She feels, now more than ever, parents need to be vigilant.

“We need to do a really good job of the administration, and us as parents to have those conversations with our kids,” she said.

Barthelmas was arraigned and sent to Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Zurlo said he believes it was an isolated incident, but he asks anyone who may have more information to contact police at (518) 885-6761.

The investigation is ongoing.

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