CHS Teacher Charged With Sexual Assault Makes Bail

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Nicole Dufault, the Columbia High School 10th grade teacher who was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting five students, was released from Essex County Correctional Facility on October 19 after making bail, reported today.

On September 17, Dufault was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting three underaged male students. Two days later, she was charged again with assaulting two more underaged male students. Dufault has also been charged with multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

It is not known how Dufault was able to cover the $500,000 bail; her bail was posted by a bail bondsman, according to Katherine Carter, spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said that Dufault is prohibited from going near Columbia High School or having any contact with the alleged victims.

Following Dufault’s arrest, Acting Superintendent Jim Memoli and Columbia High School Principal Elizabeth Aaron have worked to assure the CHS community that the district is cooperating with authorities and providing counseling. Aaron also directly addressed the arrest in a well-received speech at CHS back to school night.

The Village Green asked the South Orange-Maplewood School District for its procedure for dealing with criminal accusations made against staff. Director of Strategic Communications Suzanne Turner replied, “If allegations of criminal behavior by a staff member are brought to the attention of the district, we call the police or other appropriate law enforcement agency, and comply with whatever directions are given by that agency.”

Read the full story here.

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