Florida elementary school teacher Brian Kornbluth was caught on surveillance camera doing the unthinkable: kissing a 10-year-old male student on the lips in an empty classroom. The 28-year-old Somerset Academy charter school teacher was busted on camera and arrested back in February for his disturbing actions, but he just had his day in court on May 16.
As the Daily Mail reported, his victim claimed that Brian Kornbluth had been using his classroom to trade kisses for candy, namely gummy bears, before getting caught on camera and reported to police. The Florida teacher’s predatory behavior was first brought to light when a co-worker became suspicious. Reportedly, Kornbluth had requested that certain male students be assigned to his classroom, and his “particular interest in some students” had raised concern.
As a result of the concerned teacher’s report, administration reviewed the surveillance tapes that had recorded the goings on in Brian Kornbluth’s classroom. What they found left them shocked and concerned, and prompted a call to Boca Raton, Florida police. The school’s surveillance camera had captured Kornbluth embracing a 10-year-old male student and kissing the little boy on the mouth. Ultimately, the Florida teacher was arrested for the interaction after police spoke to the victim and his sister, who claimed that Brian Kornbluth had kissed her on the mouth as well – and all in exchange for gummy bears.
Kornbluth denied kissing the little girl, but admitted to kissing her 10-year-old brother on the lips. A short clip of the incident was recently released to the media.
In the video, the unidentified 10-year-old victim is totally blurred out. However, school administrators and investigators saw Brian Kornbluth’s criminal interaction with the young boy in the raw. In the video, Kornbluth can be seen sitting at his desk as he is approached by his victim. The pair can been seem briefly embracing, which is the point in which investigators say the Florida teacher also exchanged a kiss on the lips with the 10-year-old boy.
When Brian Kornbluth appeared in court on May 16, he was facing a single charge of battery, to which he pleaded guilty. He had originally been charged with two counts; one for kissing the victim caught on the video above, and the second for allegedly kissing the boy’s sister. The second charge was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. Despite admitting to the charges levied against him, the teacher will serve no jail time. Instead, he was sentenced to a year of probation.
Teacher, 28, caught on video kissing a 10-year-old boy inside his empty Florida classroom https://t.co/QrNmnn5K6k
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) May 24, 2017
Arrest records indicate that prior to pleading guilty, Kornbluth admitted to kissing the 10-year-old boy, but denied that he had also kissed the student’s sister.
Kristine Rosendahl, lawyer for the disgraced Florida teacher, says that her client did kiss the 10-year-old boy on the lips, as clearly depicted on the surveillance video police used as evidence in the case against him. However, Rosendahl claims that Brian Kornbluth didn’t initiate the inappropriate kiss, but rather the 10-year-old boy did.
@NYDailyNews Why in the world are there not FBI background checks for teachers? It seems like most if not all, are pedophiles. Sick of these stories.
— Venting & Shrinking (@Ventingshrinkin) May 24, 2017
— Michael Gebremariam. (@MichaelGebremar) May 24, 2017
— Lauren (@laur1679) May 25, 2017
@wsvn One year probation?! Are you kidding me?! And he wants to continue to teach? Not in my child's school!
— Renee Hernandez (@RH19161) May 23, 2017
As the Orlando Sentinel reported, Kornbluth’s attorney argued that there was no “criminal intent” involved in the “innocent kiss.”
“[The video] shows an innocent peck on the lips from the boy to my client. There was no criminal intent.”
She went on to argue that Brian Kornbluth had a prior relationship with the 10-year-old boy, having babysat him and his sister in the past.
Because of the nature of the crime Kornbluth pleaded guilty to – simple battery – it’s possible that the Florida teacher will be able to have his record completely expunged in the future. Despite pleading guilty to the frankly disturbing charges that had been levied against him
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 24, 2017
As ABC 7 News reports, despite the lenient criminal charges and lack of jail time Brian Kornbluth received for the classroom kissing incident, the Florida teacher was fired from his job over the ordeal. Sources close to the situation claim that he was immediately fired when the principal at Somerset Academy saw the video of him kissing the 10-year-old student.
However, there is fairly widespread concern that neither his new criminal record nor his termination from his teaching position will be enough to cause Kornbluth to lose his teaching certification in Florida, despite his guilty plea. According to his lawyer, Florida teacher Brian Kornbluth fully intends to continue teaching at another school.
[Featured Image by Boca Raton Police Department]