CHS Teacher Charged with Sexually Assaulting Two More Students

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Nicole Dufault, the Columbia High School teacher accused of sexually assaulting three 15-year-old male students, was charged Friday afternoon with assaulting two more 15-year-olds, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Maplewood Police Chief Robert J. Cimino.

Dufault was charged with multiple counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and second degree charges of endangering the welfare of a child regarding the two other boys, according to a release from Murray’s office. Dufault appeared in court earlier Friday to plead not guilty to the charges involving the first three students.

Here is the ECPO statement in full:

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Maplewood Police Chief Robert J. Cimino announced today that a teacher at Columbia High School in Maplewood has been charged with sexually assaulting two more male students. 

Late Tuesday Nicole Dufault, 35, of Caldwell was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting three students. With the charges authorized today, the number of victims rises to five. She is accused of multiple counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault and multiple counts of second degree endangering the welfare of a child. All five of the victims are 15-year-old boys who were students at Columbia High School. 

Today Dufault made her first court appearance. She entered a not guilty plead to the charges involving the original three victims. All of the incidents occurred during the regular school year and also during summer school in 2013 and 2014. 

Dufault is currently being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark on $500,000 bail. She has been ordered to have no contact with any of the victims. Dufault has two minor children who have been removed from her custody. 

A language arts teacher who has been employed at the school for approximately 9 years, Dufault is accused of having oral sex and vaginal intercourse with the students on school property and in her car on multiple occasions. 

The investigation, which is active and ongoing, was conducted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Maplewood Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at 973-753-1130. 

Counseling and other assistance will be available to students through the South Orange/Maplewood School district. 

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Dufault’s attorney Timothy Smith said today he would mount a “very aggressive defense” and that the charges “run contrary…to her reputation, her character and her background,” according to a report from

Asked in a phone interview if there might be other charges ahead for Dufault, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Katherine Carter declined to speculate as the investigation is ongoing.




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