Michael Finegold, former teacher and tennis coach of Venice High School, was found guilty on two counts of having an inappropriate relationship with a student and is currently in jail.
Court records obtained by the Oarsman show that he was charged with six counts, but was only found guilty of two: a felony count of sending harmful matter to seduce a minor and a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a minor. The other charges were dropped due to a plea deal.
On July 9, Mr. Finegold was originally sentenced to 28 months in Los Angeles County Jail, but his sentence was reduced to six months due to a plea negotiation.
Mr. Finegold is now officially registered as a convicted sex offender and has to complete one year of sex offender therapy, according to the court records. Once he finishes his sentence, he will be on probation for five years. He will also have to pay a restitution fine of $300.
In December 2013, Mr. Finegold retired from his teaching position after being put on paid leave in October for suspected inappropriate contact with a student.
He was arrested in January of this year and his bail was set at $215,000. When the Oarsman contacted Mr. Finegold earlier this year, he commented “I am not allowed to speak to anyone, especially students.”
When interviewed about the situation, teacher union representative Wendy Sarnoff (formally known as Kornbeck) said “I can’t condom inappropriate behavior. It damages the student and the teachers and the school community.” “Its saddens me that he’s in jail,” said the union representative.