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BRENTWOOD (CBSLA.com) – A longtime science teacher at a private school in Brentwood pled not guilty Friday to having an unlawful sexual relationship with a now 17-year-old boy who was in one of her classes.

Dr. Aimee Palmitessa, 45, pled not guilty at her arraignment Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to multiple charges of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual penetration with a foreign object with a person under 18 and oral copulation of a person under 18. She remains free on $230,000 bail.

Palmitessa was arrested Aug. 18 on allegations of sexually assaulting a student while a teacher at the Brentwood School. The alleged relationship occurred between July 12 and Aug. 11 of this year, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office reports. The victim informed Los Angeles police of the relationship.

Palmitessa had taught at the school for about nine years when the alleged behavior occurred. She has since been placed on leave.

Palmitessa holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology and previously taught at Penn State Abington, according to the Los Angeles Times. Brentwood School is an elite K-12 coed school in Brentwood. Tuition runs at about $40,000 a year.

If convicted, she faces a maximum of 10 years and four months in state prison.

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