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Bail set for former Christian school teacher accused of sexually assaulting students

ElisMartinelli has been charged with sexually assaulting four students while she was teacher Dayspring Christian Academy.

Elisa Martinelli has been charged with sexually assaulting four students while she was a teacher at Dayspring Christian Academy.

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Updated: July 15, 2011 12:48AM

A decade ago, when a teacher at a private Christian school was in her young 20s, she began molesting students from the Northwest Side school next to a church where her father is pastor, Cook County prosecutors said.

Elisa Martinelli, 34, told sexy stories, plied teens with alcohol and performed sex acts on three girls and a boy, prosecutors told a judge Tuesday.

Bail was set at $1.5 million for Martinelli, of Naperville, who is charged with four counts of criminalsexual assault, one for each teenage victim, said Andy Conklin, spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney.

The teacher who lives in the 1500 block of South Raymond worked at Dayspring Christian Academy, 5133 W. Fullerton Ave. until March, Conklin said. Her brother, Nelson Quintana Jr., 27, who also worked at the school, was charged with one count of misdemeanorcriminal sexual abuse in connection with another student, Chicago police said. He was released on $10,000 bail. Conklin did not have details of his accusations.

Martinelli’s alleged victims were her students and members of neighboring Dayspring Church, where her father, Nelson Quintana Sr., is pastor,Conklin said. He said she abused them in her home, their homes and in her car.

Martinelli began in 1998 with a 15-year-old victim she had taught in 7th and 8th grade, Conklin said. What began as sexual stories escalated into full abuse of the girl, he said. That abuse lasted until 2001.

In March 2003, when Martinelli was 26, she preyed on another 15-year-old girl and her brother while their parents were away, Conklin said. She had sexual intercourse with the boy for about a year, he said.

Then she found a 14 year-old-girl who had belonged to the church and was Martinelli’s student in 6th and 8th grades, Conklin said, and engaged in mutual sex acts with the girl until March 2007 when the teen’s family moved out of the area.

Police the crimes were not reported until April of this year.

Dayspring Academy is a private Baptist school with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, according to online directories. Nelson Quintana Sr. is listed as its principal. Messages left for him at the school and the church were not returned.

“Nobody is available,” said a woman who answered the school’s phone. “I can’t answer any questions, I’m sorry,” she said and hung up.

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