Former elementary school math teacher Daniel Rothbard, 29, arrives at...

Former elementary school math teacher Daniel Rothbard, 29, arrives at court in Mineola, Tuesday. (July 13, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A former elementary schoolteacher from Merrick who admitted to having sexual contact with two underage girls he met last year on the social-networking site MySpace was sentenced Tuesday to 2 years in jail - one year for each crime.

Daniel Rothbard, 29, did not speak in court. His attorney, Todd Greenberg of Forest Hills, said Rothbard was apologetic to the girls, who were 13 and 14 at the time the crimes took place, and is ashamed of what he did.

"He's truly sorry for his actions," Greenberg said.

The victims and their families were not in the courtroom. The girls were not students of Rothbard's, who taught math at Willow Road Elementary School in Franklin Square for four years before his July 2009 arrest.

A couple, identified by Greenberg as Rothbard's parents, sat quietly through the sentencing. They declined to comment after it was over.

As part of his plea deal, Rothbard gave up his teaching license, Greenberg said.

Rothbard, who is married and has one child, pleaded guilty May 25 to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual act, a felony that carries a 2- to 7-year sentence on each count. He will serve his two 1-year sentences consecutively in the Nassau County jail in East Meadow.

Daniel Rothbard Police said that an officer found Daniel Rothbard,...

Daniel Rothbard
Police said that an officer found Daniel Rothbard, 28, of Merrick in a car with a teenage girl in the parking lot of a West Islip elementary school. (July 21, 2009) Credit: SCPD

The case against Rothbard started in Suffolk County. Police said they discovered him having sex with a 15-year-old girl in a car parked outside Westbrook Elementary School in West Islip on July 21, 2009.

Authorities said Rothbard had used text messages and MySpace to arrange a meeting with the girl. The online relationship between Rothbard and the 15-year-old had begun several days before police discovered them having sex, authorities said.

Using the screen name "DJ" or "D to the J" and claiming to be 17, Rothbard also communicated online with the girl's friends - the two victims in Nassau County - asking them to have sex with him, police said at the time.

After his arrest in Suffolk, police searched Rothbard's computer at his home and found evidence that he had sexual contact with the two girls in Nassau on July 7, 2009, two weeks before the Suffolk incident.

The 15-year-old in the Suffolk incident was not a student of Rothbard's either, authorities said.

In that case, Rothbard pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to third-degree rape, second-degree attempted sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 10 years' probation.

Rothbard, with nearly 11 months served since his arrest, already has fulfilled the jail sentence for his Suffolk conviction.

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