The Brentwood School in Los Angeles
Brentwood School Los Angeles/Facebook
Steve Helling
August 22, 2017 12:22 PM

An elite California private school is reeling from recent allegations that a 45-year-old teacher had sex with a teenage student, PEOPLE learns.

Dr. Aimee Palmitessa — who taught science at the Brentwood School, a K-12 school in Los Angeles with tuition up to $40,000 a year— was taken into custody on Friday and booked on suspicion of statutory rape, PEOPLE has confirmed.

L.A. police declined to release much information about the case, but school officials say Palmitessa is accused of abusing a 16 year old student. She has since been placed on leave.

“The Los Angeles Police Department informed us yesterday afternoon that Dr. Aimee Palmitessa had been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate relations with a Brentwood School student and is expected to face charges,” school administrator Mike Riera said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We immediately placed Dr. Palmitessa on administrative leave.”

“As always, our primary concern is the safety, health and well-being of our students here at Brentwood School,” Riera’s statement continued. “To that end, we will do everything we can to cooperate with the official police investigation.”


One of California’s highest-ranked schools, Brentwood has a long list of celebrity alumni, including Adam Levine, Jonah Hill, Fred Savage and the children of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Palmitessa has been released on $230,000 bail, jail records show. She is scheduled for arraignment next month and has not entered a plea.

It is unclear if she has an attorney. She did not return PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

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