Thomas Bernagozzi, left, speaks with his attorney after a brief...

Thomas Bernagozzi, left, speaks with his attorney after a brief court appearance in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Tuesday. Credit: Tom Lambui

A former Bay Shore teacher accused of sexually abusing dozens of students surrendered his passport in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Tuesday.

Thomas Bernagozzi, 75, made a brief appearance at a conference before acting state Supreme Court Justice Karen Wilutis. Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Melissa Grier told the judge prosecutors are still preparing discovery in the case.

Suffolk prosecutors have referred to Bernagozzi as “a serial child abuser” who they say sexually abused “scores of male students” between the ages of 4 and 12 during his 30-year tenure as a third grade teacher in the Bay Shore school district.

Bernagozzi pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Supreme Court in January to a grand jury indictment charging him with sodomy and sexual conduct against a child involving two former students. He faces up to 25 years in prison on each charge if convicted.

The single count of sodomy relates to a student who was 4 years old when Bernagozzi allegedly abused him from September 1989 to January 1990, court records state. The sexual conduct against a child charge involved a different student who was between 8 and 10 years old when Bernagozzi allegedly abused him from November 1997 to January 2000, the records show.

Bernagozzi’s attorney, Samuel DiMeglio, of Huntington, has declined to comment on the case.

As he left the courtroom with DiMeglio on Tuesday, Bernagozzi, who is free on a $600,000 bond, was approached by a man calling his name.

“I’m so glad to see you,” said the unidentified man, who waited on a bench outside the courtroom and followed the former teacher down the hallway. “It’s been a long time. I figured I’d just say hello to an old friend … He knows exactly who I am.”

The man, who did not speak with reporters, was escorted from the building by court officers and walked to his car as Bernagozzi waited for him to leave the parking area.

The Bay Shore school district is facing 45 Child Victims Act claims related to allegations of abuse by Bernagozzi involving students of the district during his tenure from 1970 to 2000. The district has countersued Bernagozzi. The first civil trial is scheduled for Suffolk County Supreme Court on April 2.

Bernagozzi is due back in criminal court April 18.

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