Teacher admits sexual assault

teacherverification August 7, 2013 0

by: Erik Larsen


A former Spanish teacher in the Toms River Regional Schools district pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting one of her students while she was employed there.

Erin T. Haskell, 32, of Barnegat faces up to 10 years in state prison after pleading guilty to second-degree sexual assault Tuesday in Superior Court, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Haskell was a teacher at Toms River Intermediate South in Beachwood, where she also served as faculty adviser to the drama club. She taught Spanish to fifth- through eighth-grade students at an annual salary of $52,800, according to state pension records.

The victim was a 15-year-old male who was subjected to sexual abuse between June 2012 and September 2012, taking place in both Barnegat and Beachwood. The case was referred to the county Prosecutor’s Office by the state Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit of the Department of Children and Families, authorities said. Haskell was arrested Nov. 21.

Before Haskell is sentenced she must undergo a psychological evaluation to determine whether she is likely to be a repeat sexual offender. A date for her sentencing has not been set yet. A report on her mental health from the Avenel Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Woodbridge is expected to be presented to the court in about four months and will be a factor in her sentencing, Della Fave said.

Haskell also will be subject to Megan’s Law registration, parole supervision for life and barred from ever having contact with the victim. In exchange for the plea, county prosecutors agreed to drop the more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault and other offenses related to the crime.

Judge Francis R. Hodgson accepted the plea during an afternoon hearing. Haskell has been out of jail since she posted bail following her arrest in November on $300,000 bail and she remains free, Della Fave said.

Ben Giovine, president of the Toms River Regional Board of Education, said Haskell was suspended without pay following her arrest in November. She resigned Jan 11.

“We hold our teachers up to the highest standard of conduct,” Giovine said. “We all have to continue to be vigilant to ensure that a situation like this doesn’t happen again.”

Giovine, 30, said when he was growing up in the 1990s this type of behavior on the part of a teacher was so deviant that it made national news following an arrest. Now it just makes local headlines and he noted a teacher in the Wall school district was arrested on similar charges one week ago.

“It seems more commonplace,” he said.

Giovine was referring to a female English teacher at Wall Township High School who was arrested last week on a charge of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student.

Kalee Warnick, 22, a Wall resident, was arrested Tuesday on charges of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and second-degree having a sexual relationship with a minor she had care over, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

This article was written by Erik Larsen and originally published on app

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