A Salem County middle school teacher is behind bars after he allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl over the summer.
Rick Gazzola, 44, of Lower Alloways Creek Township, New Jersey turned himself in Monday night. Investigators say he sexually assaulted a girl under the age of 5 inside his home last June. Gazzola was friends with the girl’s parents and they were visiting his home at the time of the assault, according to police.
“I just want to cry,” said Doris Bearman, Gazzola’s neighbor. “I have great grandchildren and children. I can’t imagine this man doing this. I’m glad it’s not my child because I’d be in jail. Because I’d kill him.”
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Gazzola was a 5th grade social studies teacher at Salem Middle School. School officials told NBC10 he was suspended indefinitely. They also sent out notices to parents.
Gazzola is currently being held in the Salem County Jail on $100,000 cash bail.