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Charges Dropped Against L.I. Gym Teacher Accused Of Looking At Porn In School

Aaron Kozlowski Has Been On Paid Leave Since April

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GLEN HEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Charges have been dropped against a Long Island gym teacher accused by four students of masturbating while watching porn in a school office.

Prosecutors told a judge on Sept. 27 they were dismissing charges of child endangerment against Aaron Kozlowski, 32, because of insufficient proof.

The case collapsed when one of the boys recanted and two others refused to cooperate with prosecutors. The fourth stands by the allegations, CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday.

“The allegations were nothing that I would have never conceived of doing. I knew it was a lie,” Kozlowski said.

After Kozlowski’s arrest in April, his attorney said the allegations were categorically false and that some of the students had  been overheard saying they “hate” Kozlowski.

“I was arrested, spent the night in jail, had to go through the whole process of having my name tarnished,” Kozlowski said.

Kozlowski told reporters Thursday that the past few months have been a nightmare.

“First it was shock, then it was not knowing, confusion, and then it got to the point of where it was scary to think that these lies could all of a sudden affect my career for the rest of my life,” Kozlowski said.

He had taught at North Shore Middle School for nine years and received only positive feedback at the school until his arrest.

“He’s a tenured teacher there who has been tainted by false allegations,” Kozlowski’s attorney, Marc Gann, said Thursday. “You have 12- and 13-year-old kids who don’t think through the consequences of their actions. They are not mature enough to do that, so when they make this allegation, to them maybe it’s a joke.”

The school district is reviewing whether to reinstate Kozlowski, who has been on paid leave since his arrest.

“His employment status in the district as a teacher at the middle school is now the subject of review between our legal counsel, and our administrative leaders,” Board of Education President Dr. Herman Berliner said in a statement. “Reaching a conclusion is taking longer than any of us would like, but we feel strongly that the process will in the end serve the interests of the community.”

The school is expected to make a decision at the conclusion of its own own investigation, which is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

Students told Gusoff they want the popular coach back.

“He was my gym teacher and when I heard about all that I was like, ‘No, there is no way,’” one student said.

Kozlowski is now considering litigation against the boys’ families mainly to recover his legal fees and said he hopes the boys have learned a lesson.

“What they do and say has repercussions, and something as small as a lie to make fun of a teacher or to get people to laugh at a teacher can have a huge impact on someone’s life,” Kozlowski said.

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