Jury trial demanded for Boca teacher caught on camera kissing student

Brian Kornbluth (Provided by Boca Raton police)

DELRAY BEACH — The State Attorney’s Office demanded a jury trial Monday morning for the case against Brian Kornbluth, a Boca Raton charter school teacher who was caught kissing a 10-year-old student on surveillance camera this year.

Judge Paul Damico granted the state’s request for a jury trial and changed the conditions of Kornbluth’s release from jail.

Before Monday’s hearing at the South County Courthouse in Delray, Kornbluth, 28, was released on his own recognizance on two misdemeanor charges of simple battery. Damico ordered that Kornbluth, now employed in the retail industry according to his attorney, have no contact with minors and must report to the court for supervised release.

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The release conditions were changed for “the safety of the community,” Damico said.

Kornbluth taught at Somerset Academy, which has classes for grades kindergarten through eighth at its Southwest Fourth Avenue campus. He was arrested in mid-Febraury after a school camera caught him kissing a 10-year-old boy on the lips.

The State Attorney’s Office and Boca Raton Police have collected recorded statements from Somerset Academy staff, parents and alleged victims. Kornbluth was friends with some of the parents who were interviewed by police, his attorney Kristine Rosendahl told the judge during the hearing.

“We hope people aren’t going to jump to conclusions because that is not the way our country was created,” Rosendahl said.

The judge also ordered the State Attorney’s Office to release video and audio evidence to Kornbluth and his attorneys within two weeks. Rosendahl said she hasn’t yet seen the video evidence against Kornbluth.

“There’s always this presumption of guilt,” she said. “We would not be asking for those pieces of evidence unless we thought they were going to vindicate my client.”

The judge specified that Kornbluth can’t speak to minors even at work, although Rosendahl doesn’t expect that to affect his job security.

“At this point the state wants a jury trial and we welcome that opportunity,” Rosendahl said. “Because at that point, the citizens of this county will have the opportunity to see whether there is evidence.”