6th student victim ID’d before Maplewood teacher indicted on sex assault charges

teacherverification February 18, 2015 0

Bill Wichert

A Maplewood teacher has been indicted on charges of sexually assaulting six male students, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today.

Nicole Dufault, 35, of Caldwell, was indicted on 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to a press release from the prosecutor’s office.

Dufault was arrested and charged in September with engaging in sex acts with five male students, but by the time the case was presented to the grand jury, a sixth victim had been identified, prosecutors said.

Dufault was released from custody in October after posting $500,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear on March 6 before Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin.

Dufault, a Bloomfield native, has been a language arts teacher at Columbia High School for nine years, prosecutors said. Previously, she taught at several other public schools in Passaic and Bergen counties, prosecutors said.

A single mother of two young sons, Dufault is accused of engaging in sexual activity with the six students on multiple occasions between 2013 and 2014, prosecutors said. Some of the sex acts occurred on school property and in her car, prosecutors said.

The victims were between 14 and 15 years old at the time of the incidents, prosecutors said.

The evidence against Dufault allegedly includes a video of her performing oral sex on one of the victims, according to Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Gina Iosim, who is handling the case. The video shows Dufault performing the sex act on one of the victims while another victim is present, Iosim said.

In a search of Dufault’s apartment, authorities also found a piece of clothing that she was seen wearing in that video, Iosim said.

Following a Sept. 26 hearing, Dufault’s attorney, Timothy Smith, said “sometimes a video…doesn’t tell the entire story,” and suggested that Dufault could be the victim.

“If the video depicts certain things happening…that doesn’t mean that my client’s not innocent,” said Smith, adding that “for example, she could be the victim.”

Source: nj

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