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Substitute Teacher Charged with Sexual Assault

A substitute teacher from New Jersey has been charged with sexually assaulting a student during a 16-month period at the Perth Amboy High School. The man, 29, faces felony charges in connection with the accident, including sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Authorities said the man's alleged relationship with the teen began in November 2011 and continued through February 2012.

Prosecutors have accused the man of meeting the girl at his home, where they engaged in sexual activities. The girl is now 17 years old.

The defendant was employed full-time by the school district, but his position was cut because of budgetary constraints. An employee with the district since 2006, the man decided to become a substitute teacher after his job as a middle-school Spanish teacher was eliminated. The man is not listed as a full-time teacher, so he cannot be suspended from his job, but he has been removed from the eligible list of substitutes in the area.

The man is being held in a local detention facility in lieu of $100,000 bail. The investigation into the matter is still continuing.

Countless men's lives have been severely affected by unfounded sexual assault claims. This is particularly true for alleged perpetrators whose supposed victims were teenagers; in many instances, the students are simply angry at the adult and decided to get revenge by alleging sexual misconduct. Even if the man is cleared of the charges, he could still face stigma for the rest of his life, and it is possible that the man will be prevented from returning to teaching altogether.

Such cases are generally distilled down to "he said, she said" situations, in which misconduct is very difficult to prove. It is not clear whether the man will attempt to plead not guilty and face a jury trial in this instance, though jurors tend to be sympathetic toward supposed victims. The man should carefully consult with his criminal defense attorney to examine the full range of his legal options.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Perth Amboy High School substitute teacher charged with sexually assaulting student," Sue Epstein, March 22, 2013

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