NJ "Teacher of the Year" Denies Sex Charges

Erica DePalo faces aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment charges

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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Erica DePalo was named 2011 Teacher of the Year in Essex County, New Jersey.

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An attorney for a county teacher of the year in New Jersey, entered a not guilty pleas on her behalf to charges that she had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old honors student in a class that she taught.

Erica DePalo faces aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment charges.

She did not speak during her court appearance.

Before the hearing, her lawyer said she maintains her innocence.

Prosecutors say the 33-year-old Montclair resident had a relationship with a boy in her honors English class. They say the affair started in June and ended recently.

DePalo has been indefinitely suspended from her job teaching English at West Orange High School. She was the 2011 teacher of the year in Essex County.

 


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