A former southern New Jersey elementary teacher and coach has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting children.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Derek V. Hildreth pleaded guilty to four counts.
They included first-degree aggravated assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Under terms of Friday's sentencing in state Superior Court in Cumberland County, he won't be eligible for parole for 17 years. .
Prosecutors say the 50-year-old Hildreth molested children in Cumberland, Burlington, Atlantic and Gloucester counties between 1999 and 2002.
Hildreth was a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Myron L. Powell Elementary school in Lawrence Township for 23 years.
Last year one of the victims filed a notice to sue Hildreth, the school system and others.