LONG ISLAND. N.Y. (PIX11) — A Long Island teacher is accused of having sex with a teenage student in public parks and in an empty school bus on school property, authorities said Wednesday.

William Sperl, 60, an audio production teacher for Eastern Suffolk B.O.C.E.S, was recently indicted for allegedly having intercourse with the 15-year-old girl starting in 2019, according to Suffolk County prosecutors.

The girl was in Sperl’s audio production class when he began contacting her through a school app teachers use to communicate with students. In 2020, when the girl was 16, Sperl allegedly started to send flirtatious messages to the girl’s personal cellphone and asked her to send him sexually explicit pictures and videos, authorities said.

In June 2020, the two began having sex in public parks and on an empty school bus on school grounds, prosecutors said.

The girl, now 19, recently reported the abuse to police.

“This defendant allegedly used his role as an educator to prey on a student for his own sexual desires,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said. “The safety of children in our schools and community is a non-negotiable priority and this kind of abuse will not be tolerated.”

Sperl was charged with seven counts of rape, criminal sex act, sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child. Sperl was arraigned Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. He is out on bail and due back in court on Oct. 31.

“At this stage of the proceedings, our law firm will closely scrutinize the allegations and evidence to evaluate our next course of action on behalf of our client,” Sperl’s lawyer, John LoTurco, said in a statement.

The defendant is still employed by the school district, according to a school spokesperson.

Mira Wassef is a digital reporter who has covered news and sports in the New York City area for more than a decade. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.