Former NJ "Teacher of the Year" Admits to Sex Charge

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Erica DePalo

    A former Essex County teacher of the year has admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old boy enrolled in an honors class she taught.
     
    Erica DePalo pleaded guilty Tuesday to child endangerment. In return, county prosecutors will recommend she get lifetime parole supervision when she's sentenced in April.

      DePalo will also have to register as a sex offender and forfeit her teacher's license. She declined to comment after entering her plea.
     
    Prosecutors say the 33-year-old Montclair resident had a brief sexual relationship with a student in her honors English class at West Orange High School. She initially was charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment and could have faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
     
    Prosecutors say the boy's family approved of the plea deal.

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